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Centrica plc is an integrated energy company operating predominately in United Kingdom and North America. In the United Kingdom, it operates three segments: upstream, downstream and storage.
Centrica grows presence in Texas with acquisition of First Choice PowerSeptember 23 2011, 7:57am
Power utility Centrica (LON:CNA) announced this morning that its North American subsidiary, Direct Energy, has agreed to acquire the Texas-based energy retailer First Choice Power for US$270 million (£175 million).
Centrica said the acquisition supports Direct Energy’s strategy to grow its North American downstream retail business and strengthen its position as the third-largest energy retailer in Texas. First Choice Power has more than 220,000 residential and commercial electricity customer accounts, which brings Direct Energy’s number of customer accounts in the state to more than 830,000.
Centrica said that First Choice Power’s customers have “high brand loyalty”, due to its being one of five legacy players in Texas, and also that it was the first major power provider in the state to offer smart meter prepaid options. It believes the acquisition will provide Direct Energy with access to strategic prepaid partnerships that will help support future growth in this segment of the market.
“This acquisition is another important step towards growing scale and leadership in our North American business,” said Chris Weston, Direct Energy’s president and chief executive officer. “First Choice Power is an established brand with a loyal customer base. Its addition to the Direct Energy family will significantly enlarge our business in one of the key US deregulated residential markets, providing a valuable platform for future growth.”