28 April 2004 - Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) has today completed the acquisition of the assets of fellow UK utility Atlantic Electric & Gas (Atlantic) from the Receivers, KPMG LLP. The total consideration is £90.7m ($162.6m) in cash, predominantly for the customer debt book but also for over 300 000 customers.
Atlantic is the seventh largest supplier of electricity and gas in the UK. The acquisition means SSE has more than 5.5 million energy customers, an increase of one million since the start of 2002, and is now the fourth largest energy supplier in the UK. The Atlantic brand will be retained, adding to SSE's existing portfolio of three strong regional brands, Southern Electric, SWALEC and Scottish Hydro-Electric.
Atlantic currently has offices in Cardiff, where SSE already has a customer service centre, and in Gloucester. Its operations will be fully integrated with those of SSE, including the transfer of customers onto SSE's customer service system.
SSE Chief Executive Ian Marchant said: "This acquisition represents good value and complements our success in growing customer numbers organically over the past two years. I am committed to making sure that all our new customers will benefit from the high quality of customer service we offer, which remains a key differentiator in energy supply.
"We believe that our commitment to customer service, combined with our ability to offer a diverse range of energy-related products, means we will be able to continue to grow our supply business in the future."
UK energy regulator Ofgem has received assurances SSE that customers will see a smooth transition to the company following its purchase of Atlantic's customer contracts. SSE will offer all Atlantic's gas and electricity customers a continuing supply, initially under the same terms and conditions that they had with Atlantic Energy. SSE has also bought Atlantic's billing systems which means that it will bill customers on their normal billing cycle, initially using the Atlantic brand. SSE is not taking on the bulk of the liabilities normally associated with an energy supply business.