Phoenix Energy Holdings Limited (PEHL) has entered into an agreement to sell Phoenix Supply Limited, its regulated gas supply business in Northern Ireland, to SSE plc, through its subsidiary Airtricity (Energy Supply) Northern Ireland Limited.
In addition PEHL has agreed to sell Phoenix Energy Limited, a separate gas supply company operating in the Republic of Ireland to SSE, through its wholly-owned Republic of Ireland-registered subsidiary Airtricity Limited.
Phoenix will continue to focus on investing and growing its core business, Phoenix Natural Gas, which operates the Greater Belfast natural gas network and is responsible for making gas available to around half the population of Northern Ireland. Phoenix remains one of the largest private sector investors in Northern Ireland, connecting over 8,000 homes and businesses to its natural gas network every year.
The sale is subject to approval by the Irish Competition Authority.
Peter Dixon, Group Chief Executive, Phoenix Energy Holdings, said:
"Phoenix Natural Gas, our core business, is responsible for operating and extending our gas distribution network as well as developing and supporting the wider local natural gas industry. We have made no secret of the fact that our long-term ambition is to grow our distribution business. The activities undertaken by our gas supply businesses involve the buying of gas and billing customers for its use; these have been a separate stand-alone operation within the Phoenix Group for several years".
"Phoenix established the natural gas industry in Northern Ireland in 1996 and due to its success there are now over 300,000 homes and businesses that have access to this cheaper, cleaner fuel. In addition, the scale of the gas network has attracted three other gas suppliers to the Greater Belfast area. This growth has now prompted SSE plc (Airtricity), one of the biggest energy suppliers in the UK and Ireland, to extend its current activities in Northern Ireland and the Republic through the acquisition of Phoenix's gas supply businesses."
As part of the sale, the existing loan arrangement between Phoenix Natural Gas Limited and Phoenix Supply Limited will be repaid in full
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