Ovo Energy is planning a takeover offer for rival Bulb, amid the UK gas crisis that has claimed a number of casualties among small energy suppliers, according to media reports.
Ovo will this week table an offer for Bulb in a bid to create Britain’s second-largest energy supplier, Sky News reported.
Ovo, which took over SSE’s retail customer base around two years ago, is assembling a bid for Bulb with the backing of its biggest shareholder Mitsubishi, with a deadline set for Wednesday 6 October, the report said.
The Telegraph reported on Sunday that Ovo was “circling” Bulb. Sky cited people close to the situation as saying that it intends to submit a firm, although non-binding, offer ahead of the deadline.
Adding Bulb’s 1.7 million customers to Ovo’s 4.5 million would create the UK’s number two player behind Centrica’s British Gas.
Octopus Energy has also been exploring a bid for Bulb, although it is not clear whether it plans to table a formal offer, Sky said.
A number of small energy suppliers have folded or are are expected to stop trading amid the current gas crisis. However, Bulb has denied the UK government is considering a potential nationalisation.
“We’re not in talks with government or Ofgem about nationalisation and we haven’t asked for a bailout. We buy our energy in advance and this means we’re protected from the current wholesale costs that some smaller companies have struggled to manage,” a spokesperson recently told Proactive.
READ: Gas crisis: Prices reach new high as UK energy regulator enlists insolvency experts in case of emergency