British Gas parent company Centrica has struck a deal to buy Danish group Neas Energy for DKK1.6bn (£170m) .
The deal will give Centrica the opportunity to "expand its route to market services in Europe, and to continue to utilise and build its knowledge of European energy markets in order to benefit from trading and optimisation activity", the energy giant said today.
Neas focuses on short-term power trading and asset management in North West Europe, with Centrica saying the business would be a strong fit alongside its own existing focus on longer-term gas and power trading in the UK and Europe.
The Danish firm reported a turnover of DKK20.4bn (£2.2bn) and EBITDA of DKK198m (£21m) in 2015.
Centrica chief executive Iain Conn - who this week avoided a shareholder spring over his pay - said: "Our new strategy recognises that the energy landscape is rapidly changing, with a trend away from large centralised power generation to decentralised technologies – much of it intermittent renewable generation.
"Neas has developed a business model and capabilities that are able to capitalise on this trend and, combined with Centrica’s existing strengths, this acquisition will allow us to accelerate our energy marketing and trading growth strategy and serve renewable and distributed energy customers at a wholesale level across Europe.”
Neas Energy chief executive Bo Rydahl added: "In our efforts to grow and expand Neas’ activities in markets where competition is increasing, economies of scale will be essential to success.
"Becoming part of Centrica will provide opportunities to grow the scale of our existing business activities further and enter new markets. Neas will be Centrica’s spearhead for the growth of energy marketing and trading activities on the European continent.”