An energy challenger set up a decade ago is closing in on an audacious deal to buy the electricity and gas supply business of power giant SSE, upending the industry. Ovo Energy, founded by Stephen Fitzpatrick, is in advanced talks for the struggling household supply division, SSE confirmed last night. It plans to pay £250m upfront, with the promise of further payments. A deal would add SSE’s 5.7m domestic accounts to Ovo’s 1.5m – putting it second only to British Gas, which has 12m domestic accounts. The deal illustrates the seismic changes sweeping through an industry that has been shaken by the growth of renewable power sources such as wind and solar, carbon taxes and price caps, undermining once-stable companies. The market share of the big six energy suppliers – British Gas, Eon, Npower, SSE, Scottish Power and EDF – has plummeted from 99% in 2011 to about 73%. They have been undercut by smaller and more nimble brands such as Ovo, Octopus and Bulb. Oil and gas giant Shell has also entered the market with plans to become one of the world’s largest power suppliers.
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