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Shell completes its deal to buy First Utility and puts Colin Crooks at the helm

Courtney Goldsmith: Thursday 1 March 2018 2:35pm

Oil major Royal Dutch Shell has completed its acquisition of one of the UK’s biggest challenger energy suppliers and appointed Colin Crooks as its chief executive.

In December, Shell revealed it would buy First Utility in a deal thought to be worth £200m.

The energy supplier, which serves around 825,000 homes in the UK, will now become a subsidiary of Shell within its new energies division and be led by Crooks, previously Shell’s vice president of downstream strategy and portfolio.

“The rapidly-evolving retail energy market is a natural place for Shell to expand its business, building on the trusted relationships we’ve built with our millions of forecourt customers. We aim to grow our customer base by offering an attractive range of products and a real alternative to other companies in the sector,” Crooks said.

“Bringing such a well-respected and innovative company into the Shell group will enable us together to offer even more choice and value to consumers in the UK and Germany.”

First Utility operates in the German household energy sector under Shell’s brand under a licencing agreement signed in 2015.

The deal comes amid a turbulent time for the UK’s retail energy suppliers. The government plans to cap energy prices by next winter to tackle the “broken” market, but critics have said the move could reduce competition and investment in the sector.

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