Centrica expands East Coast ambitions with $731m acquisition

Leading energy company Centrica has announced its ambition to become the leading B2B gas supplier in the Eastern US after agreeing to acquire the New Jersey-based energy marketing business of Hess Corporation through its North American subsidiary Direct Energy for $731m (£478m).

Hess’s energy marketing business operates in 18 states across the east of the US and last year supplied 378 billion cubic feet (bcf) of gas and 28 terawatt hours (TWh) of power to over 23,000 customers. When combined with Direct Energy’s existing business, which in 2012 supplied 77bcf of gas and 51TWh of power, the acquisition will make Direct Energy the largest business gas supplier on the east coast and the second largest business power supplier in the country’s retail markets.

Chief executive Sam Laidlaw said:

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. 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 3-5 years.