Green energy giants’ power struggle heats up with latest approach dismissed as ‘highly opportunistic’

August 20, 2021

The takeover battle between renewable power providers Good Energy and Ecotricity became a war of words this week as the arch-rivals became locked in heated exchanges over the merits of the move.

Chippenham-headquartered Good Energy has repeatedly rejected Ecotricity’s advances – the latest valuing it at £59.6m. 

But yesterday Good Energy chair Will Whitehorn dismissed the approach as a “highly opportunistic and hostile offer” and pointed out that Ecotricity continues to make a loss.

He also branded Ecotricity’s business model out-dated and centralised.

Stroud-based Ecotricity – which has owned shares in Good Energy since 2016 and currently has a 25.1% stake – insists by taking over it would be able to better able to compete with the high number of new entrants in the increasingly competitive green energy market.

It also claims it ‘bills into mills’ concept linking customers’ bills to developing new green energy sources would be welcomed by Good Energy customers and shareholders.

The two are the UK’s oldest green energy firms and are a similar size, each with 200,000-plus customers.

Reiterating his earlier plea that Good Energy shareholders are strongly advised to take no action in respect of the offer, Mr Whitehorn said: The board firmly rejects this highly opportunistic and hostile offer and does not agree that the takeover of Good Energy by a loss-making competitor would help the company compete more effectively in the energy market. 

“Such a takeover would deprive investors of the opportunity to support, and benefit from, Good Energy’s future growth.

“It would place the collective interests of our investors and customers in combatting the climate crisis into the hands of one individual.

“As a standalone business, Good Energy has developed momentum in building the next phase of people-powered climate action in the UK. Together with Zap-Map, the UK’s leading EV charging mapping service, we give our investors a rare opportunity to take part in the fast-growing clean energy and transport market.”

The power struggle between the two dates back to 2017 when Ecotricity, founded and still led by hippie-turned-green entrepreneur Dale Vince, made it first approach.

The bitter battle threatened to boil over when Mr Vince demanded non-executive director roles on London Stock Exchange-listed Good Energy’s board for himself and another Ecotricity chief.

However, it simmered down after Mr Vince withdrew the demand – only to be reignited when Ecotricity made its latest all-cash approach a month ago.


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