Ecotricity fails in bid to oust rival Good Energy’s chairman in latest twist in pair’s power struggle

February 18, 2022

Shareholders in Chippenham-headquartered green power supplier Good Energy have seen off an attempt by arch-rival Ecotricity to oust its chairman and prevent the sale of all its wind and solar farms.

Ecotricity, which holds a 26.8% stake in Good Energy, had requested a general meeting of shareholders to vote on removing chairman William Whitehorn as a director and its board not to dispose of the company's generation assets. 

The showdown was the latest in a power struggle between Stroud-based Ecotricity and Good Energy which dates back to 2017 when Ecotricity – founded and still led by hippie-turned-green entrepreneur Dale Vince – made it first approach to acquire its rival.

Ecotricity has since failed four times to buy Good Energy.

The resolution to remove Mr Whitehorn was lost by 41.7% to 58.3% while the attempt to stop the assets sale – which has already taken place – failed by 42.8% to 57.2%.

Good Energy pointed out that, stripping out the votes of Ecotricity’s shareholding, the results were 5.6% to 94.4% and 6.8% to 93.2%.

Neither company has commented on the result.

Mr Vince had previously demanded non-executive director roles on London Stock Exchange-listed Good Energy’s board for himself and another Ecotricity chief.

Ecotricity’s last attempt to take over Good Energy was an all-cash approach last summer, which valued it at £45.3m. 

Ecotricity had insisted that by taking over Good Energy, which has around 250,000 domestic and business customers, it would be better able to compete with the high number of new entrants in the increasingly competitive green energy market. 

The attempt floundered when Ecotricity failed to win the support of enough Good Energy shareholders.

At the time Mr Whitehorn dismissed the bid as “highly opportunistic and hostile” and suggested Ecotricity would be an “unfit owner with an unsuitable plan” for Good Energy.

Good Energy sold its 47.5MW generation wind and solar portfolio for £24.5m last month to renewable energy investment specialists Bluefield Partners. The assets will continue to provide around 15% of Good Energy customers’ electricity under ongoing power purchase agreements (PPAs).

Good Energy will use the proceeds to help fund its on-going shift to energy and mobility services.


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