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First Utility shakes up board as it kicks back IPO plans

Jessica Morris
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First Utility will expand beyond the energy market (Source: Getty)

The UK's biggest energy challenger First Utility is reportedly shaking up its board as it delays plans to go public.

It comes after a disappointing outcome of a competition investigation into the Big Six energy suppliers.

First Utility will announce tomorrow that current chairman, Dr John Roberts, is to step down and be replaced by Thomas Chambers, a seasoned technology investor.

Sky News reported two other non-executive directors — Pieter Knock and Eva Eisenschimmel — will also leave the board as its floatation plans are delayed in favour of an expansion.

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The change of direction could have been bought about by the Competition Market Authority's recommendation which would effectively allow price comparison sites to conceal energy deals on which they would not earn commission.

Darren Braham, First Utility's founder and chief financial officer, said at the time: "With the remedies proposed, we are in real danger of being back where we started 10 years ago.

"This means a baffling array of tariffs, even more exploitation by the Big Six and customers continuing to pay much more than they need to."

Read more: One in six energy customers now signed up with independent suppliers as Big Six lose grip on market

First Utility is preparing to take its energy products into a wider range of European markets, Sky News added.

The company also intends to expand beyond the energy market into broadband, with a product that it has developed with TalkTalk expected in the coming weeks. First Utility is also eyeing the financial services and connected homes spaces.

First Utility is expected to pay for its expansion plans from existing financial resources however it recently gained approval to conduct a secondary share sale, Sky News added.

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