Centrica’s $1bn US energy deal

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SCOTTISH Gas-owner Centrica sealed a $1 billion (£650 million) deal yesterday to buy rival Hess’s energy marketing business, one of the largest along the United States’ eastern seaboard.

Direct Energy, Centrica’s North American division, will gain more than 23,000 customers spread throughout 18 states.

Following the takeover, Direct Energy will become the largest business gas supplier on the east coast of the US and the second-largest business power supplier in the competitive American retail market.

Centrica chief executive Sam Laidlaw said: “This transaction will transform our business-to-business operations in North America, giving us leading positions in business gas and power supply and creating a unique dual fuel business in the US.”