Centrica secures electricity acquisition

British Gas Trading Limited has entered into an agreement with Pricewaterhouse Coopers, Administrators of Enron Direct Limited, to acquire its energy customer business.

Centrica has today announced that its subsidiary – British Gas Trading Limited – has entered into an agreement with PricewaterhouseCoopers, Administrators of Enron Direct Limited (EDL), to acquire its energy customer business and certain of its assets for a total consideration of £96.4 million in cash.

EDL is principally engaged in the supply of electricity to commercial customers.

EDL is a subsidiary of Enron Europe Limited which is in turn a subsidiary of Enron Corporation, the US parent company. EDL started trading in 1996 and has grown rapidly. Turnover was £190 million for the 10 months to October 2001, up substantially from £97million in EDL’s last full financial year to December 2000.

EDL has 160,000 direct customers with long term contracts of generally five years duration. Additional customers are served through licensed intermediaries. Operating assets being acquired, principally receivables, have a value estimated at approximately £47 million. Based on Centrica’s current evaluation of EDL’s customer base and balance sheet accounts, the cost per acquired customer associated with this transaction, is estimated at £197 (net of receivables outstanding and other benefits).

Centrica will also have the opportunity to enhance and fully utilise EDL’s billing, customer care and energy forecasting systems. This will particularly help Centrica to target the half-hourly metered electricity market.

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