Octopus buys Octopus: Sixteen legs good, eight legs better, FCA agrees


Power supplier Octopus Energy today confirmed a green light from the Financial Conduct Authority has freed it formally to acquire its older sister, the developer Octopus Renewables. 

Welcoming £4.3 billion of clean energy projects into its simplified structure, the retailer claims now to be one of Europe’s biggest investors in solar and onshore wind. 

The group had employed a complex structure, including managing its RE investments through an arms-length infrastructure trust, technically known as a closed-end investment company.   

The FCA regulator had wanted to cast an eye over the group’s desired rationalisation, as Octopus seeks greater scale in asset purchase & management.  Seventy staff have moved sideways without loss within the group’s London headquarters. 

Constructing big bespoke portfolios across nations and technologies will free up much needed investment, the group believes, enhancing shareholder value.

Launched in 2010, the target Octopus Renewables commands assets of over 2.8GW capacity. It is commercial solar’s biggest investor in Europe.  The unit positions itself at the forefront of building subsidy-free farms, including in onshore wind.  

Octopus Energy Group launched in 2016. Both directly, and as an unseen ‘white label’ supplying brands like London Power, M&S, Affect, Ebico, and the Co-op, the group supplies 2.2 million homes. Octopus Energy for Business serves a further 25,000 customers.

Kraken Technologies is the group’s in-house technical core, providing a machine-learning platform for fulfilment, supply and billing.  Octopus’ licencing of Kraken to Good Energy, E.ON energy and Sydney-based Origin means it now supports 17 million accounts worldwide.

In December 2020 Octopus Energy Group was valued at over $2 billion after closing its second

investment round of the year led by international energy companies Tokyo Gas and Origin Energy.

Besides the UK, the group operates in the US, Japan, Germany, New Zealand and Australia.

Group CEO Chris Hulatt was happy,  “This finalised deal presents a huge opportunity for the two teams to come together and unleash pent-up capital that can help deliver the green energy transition faster than anyone ever imagined”.

“Existing funds have not been affected by any of these changes. Indeed, now there are even more possibilities to enhance returns over time as the combination of energy investment know-how and industry-leading tech increases efficiencies along the supply chain and unlocks a multitude of new investment opportunities.”

The share price of Octopus’ investment trust barely moved. By 15:30 today it was up 0.38%. 


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