Centrica buys Texas energy retailer in $270m deal

British utility Centrica agreed to buy Texas-based energy retailer First Choice Power from smaller US peer PNM Resources for $270m (£175m) in cash, as the UK firm looks to expand and strengthen its North American customer base.

Irving, Texas-based First Choice Power, a wholly owned unit of PNM Resources, has more than 220,000 residential and commercial electricity customers in Texas, Centrica's unit Direct Energy said in a statement.

Direct Energy said the acquisition would take the total number of its electricity customer accounts in the state to more than 830,000.

"This acquisition is another important step towards growing scale and leadership in our North American business. Its addition to the Direct Energy family will significantly enlarge our business in one of the key US deregulated residential markets," Direct Energy Chief Executive Chris Weston said.