Centrica buys US gas supplier for £480m

Suzie Neuwirth

‘BIG SIX’ energy company Centrica today said that it has agreed to buy a US business-to-business gas supplier for $731m (£478m), as it looks to expand its operations in North America.

The FTSE 100-listed firm said its North American subsidiary, Direct Energy Business, would acquire the New Jersey-based energy marketing business of Hess Corporation for $731m in cash, plus net working capital of around $300m.

The B2B energy supplier’s portfolio of contracts includes purchase agreements with shale gas producers and gas and power supply agreements with customers.

“This transaction will transform our B2B operations in North America, giving us leading positions in business gas and power supply and creating a unique dual fuel business in the US,” said chief executive Sam Laidlaw.

“It marks a significant step towards delivering on our strategy – substantially increasing the scale of our North American downstream business and integrating along the gas value chain – with the aim of doubling the profitability of our North American downstream business over the next three to five years.”