Energy firm SSE sells millions of customers and 8,000 staff to rival in £500m deal

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ENERGY giant SSE has agreed to sell its household supply business to smaller rival Ovo Group for £500m.

The deal, which had been flagged last month, is expected to complete later this year or early next year, the two parties confirmed.

SSE – which has a base in Havant and is one of Britain’s so-called Big Six energy suppliers – has millions of household customers and 8,000 staff within the energy services division being sold. All of those employees will transfer to Ovo.

Ovo is already a major independent energy supplier, with about 1.5m customers and some 2,000 staff.

The deal comes after SSE was forced to abandon its merger with Big Six rival Npower last December after the UK government’s energy price cap sent shockwaves through the industry.

Alistair Phillips-Davies, SSE chief executive, said: ‘We have long believed that a dedicated, focused and independent retailer will ultimately best serve customers, employees and other stakeholders – and this is an excellent opportunity to make that happen.’

Ovo was founded in 2009 and has grown to become the UK's largest independent energy supplier, now serving 1.5m customers.

Ovo founder Stephen Fitzpatrick said: ‘SSE and Ovo are a great fit. They share our values on sustainability and serving customers. They've built an excellent team that I'm really looking forward to working with.’

The move allows SSE to focus on ‘developing, operating and owning energy and related infrastructure in a sustainable way’ rather than a customer-facing business.