Centrica – the owner of British Gas – has announced that it plans to sell off its US energy retail arm for £2.8bn to NRG Energy – a North American rival.
The retail arm – Direct Energy – which was acquired by Centrica in 2000, is a part of the firm’s major shake-up. More than 5,000 jobs are now under threat.
Centrica also announced that it has halved its pre-tax loss to £264m in the six months to 30 June.
Centrica CEO Chris O’Shea said: “Centrica delivered a resilient performance against the unprecedented backdrop of the COVID-19 crisis during the first half of the year. That is due to the response of colleagues across the group to keep our customers warm, safe and supplied with energy and services during the pandemic. I am truly grateful for their efforts.
“Our mission now is to turn around the company by putting customers at the heart of everything we do and creating a simpler, leaner, more modern and more sustainable company. The sale of Direct Energy is a fundamental step towards this, and although we have a lot more to do, we have the people, the brands and the market positions to deliver a successful turnaround.”