PRINCETON, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–NRG Energy Inc. (NYSE: NRG) today announced it has entered into a definitive agreement with Centrica PLC under which NRG will acquire Direct Energy, a North American subsidiary of Centrica PLC for $3.625 billion in an all-cash transaction.
The transaction builds on NRG’s status as a growing, customer-driven integrated energy provider, adding more than three million retail customers across 50 states and Canada. The transaction on closing is expected to generate approximately $740 million in annual run-rate Adjusted EBITDA1, while enhancing free cash flow strength and stability and providing earnings diversification.
With operations in all 50 U.S. states and 6 Canadian provinces, Direct Energy is one of North America’s leading retail providers of electricity, natural gas, and home and business energy-related products and services. For NRG, the acquisition builds on and complements its integrated model, enabling better matching of power generation with customer demand. It also broadens NRG’s presence into states and locales where it does not currently operate, supporting NRG’s objective to diversify its business.
The combination will deliver greater efficiencies and enable continued investment in NRG’s award-winning customer service, operational best practices and reliability. With NRG’s decades of participation in electricity markets throughout the U.S., NRG has broad insights into energy market dynamics and trends to inform innovative solutions and products for the combined company’s customers.
“This combination improves NRG’s status as one of North America’s premier integrated power companies, bringing the power of energy to people and organizations through our diverse generation platform and leading retail brands,” said Mauricio Gutierrez, President and Chief Executive Officer of NRG. “The acquisition aligns with our broader strategy of perfecting our integrated business model and drives significant value creation for our customers and stakeholders. Direct Energy ’s complementary assets, talented team and excellent customer service make it a natural fit for our portfolio, and we look forward to welcoming Direct Energy to the NRG team.”
Strategic and Financial Benefits
- Broader Retail Platform
The transaction broadens NRG’s retail business adding over 3 million customers. The transaction provides substantial regional diversity to NRG given that 76% of Direct Energy’s Home Energy customers are outside of Texas. The transaction will allow the combined company to reduce costs and leverage shared best practices.
- Balanced Generation and Retail Platform
Direct Energy’s significant East footprint provides better balance within NRG’s existing portfolio while also providing NRG the ability to expand its successful capital-light renewable PPA strategy outside of Texas.
- Significant Cost and Operational Synergies
The acquisition is expected to create $300 million in annual run-rate synergies driven by leveraging NRG’s scalable operational platform and best-in-class cost discipline.
- Disciplined Capital Allocation
The transaction exceeds NRG’s investment criteria and is accretive to free cash flow. In addition, NRG expects to achieve its targeted credit ratios within twelve months of closing, thereby maintaining its commitment to achieve investment grade credit metrics.
NRG will acquire Direct Energy for $3.625 billion in cash, subject to a working capital adjustment.
Approvals and Time to Close
Closing for the transaction is targeted by year end 2020. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, consents and regulatory approvals, including approval by shareholders of Centrica PLC and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). The companies will also submit as pre-merger notification to the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act, and the Commissioner of Competition under the Canadian Competition Act.
About NRG Energy
At NRG, we’re bringing the power of energy to people and organizations by putting customers at the center of everything we do. We generate electricity and provide energy solutions and natural gas to more than 3.7 million residential, small business, and commercial and industrial customers through our diverse portfolio of retail brands. A Fortune 500 company, operating in the United States and Canada, NRG delivers innovative solutions while advocating for competitive energy markets and customer choice, and by working towards a sustainable energy future. More information is available at www.nrg.com. Connect with NRG on Facebook, LinkedIn and follow us on Twitter @nrgenergy, @nrginsight.