An investment fund founded by former US vice president Al Gore has paid the equivalent of £483 million to take a 13% stake in Octopus Energy Group, valuing the supplier at £3.4 billion.
Generation Investment Management is chaired and was co-founded by the ‘Inconvenient Truth’ climate campaigner with former Goldman Sachs partner David Blood, thereby giving rise to a deathless joke among asset managers about ‘Blood and Gore’.
GIM manages $36 billion of assets worldwide, predominantly in sustainable and environmentally sensitive stocks.
After a deal rumoured to have been ‘months in the creating’, Gore’s fund now classifies Octopus among its ‘long-term’ stocks.
Octopus Energy was founded in 2016 as an offshoot of Octopus Capital by Greg Jackson its continuing CEO, with Stuart Jackson and James Eddison,.
Two months ago Octopus rationalised its ownership and operating structure, reversing its energy division fully into the investment business, after obtaining a green light from the UK Financial Conduct Authority.
Talkin’ ‘bout Al’s Generation
Besides the UK, the group retails sustainable power and gas in eleven markets, including the US, Australia & New Zealand, Germany and Japan.
This week saw Octopus’ global account base top three million for the first time, as it acquired the 580,000 clients of failed UK supplier Avro.
Heading GIM’s interest in Octopus has been its proprietary ‘Kraken’ account management software, developed in house. Including through licencing deals to such as Eon, nPower and Good Energy, Kraken is claimed to host 17 million energy customers. Both parties seek to push that total to 100 million as earlier as 2027, their announcement made clear.
Origin Energy, Australia’s biggest utility, is contributing a further $55 million to the deal, in addition to GIM’s stake of up to $600 million.
Octopus CEO Greg Jackson said, “Whilst the UK energy market is currently in a tough state, it’s highlighted the need for investment in renewables and technologies to end our reliance on fossil fuels.
“Three years ago, the management team of Octopus Energy met to discuss growth plans for our fledgling company. We watched (Gore’s film) ‘An Inconvenient Sequel’ and were inspired to accelerate and expand our mission to make energy greener faster, cheaper, across the globe.
”Being backed by Generation, co-founded and chaired by Al Gore, enables us to make that dream come true”, Jackson concluded.