UK renewable supplier rivals in boardroom battle

Privately owned green energy supplier Ecotricity has launched a bid for seats on the board of rival firm Good Energy. The latter listed company said Ecotricity has attempted to requisition […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

Privately owned green energy supplier Ecotricity has launched a bid for seats on the board of rival firm Good Energy.

The latter listed company said Ecotricity has attempted to requisition a general meeting to consider the appointment of Founder Dale Vince and Simon Crowfoot, who leads the Electric Highway unit, to the board as non-executive directors.

The company has steadily increased its holding in the firm – Ecotricity’s stake in Good Energy currently stands at 25.3%.

The board of Good Energy believes the appointment of representatives from a “direct competitor” as non-executive directors “would present significant conflicts of interest that would work against the best interests of Good Energy’s shareholders as a whole, as well as Good Energy’s customers and other stakeholders”.

John Maltby, Chairman of Good Energy added: “Having the owner and senior management of a direct competitor on our board would be unworkable. There can be no reasonable expectation that any representative of Ecotricity would put the interests of Good Energy shareholders, customers and other stakeholder before those of Ecotricity.

“The proposed appointments, if implemented, would significantly curtail the ability of Good Energy’s board to operate and consider any commercial matter in a unified way, creating unnecessary administrative, financial and competitive penalties for the Company.

“This action by Ecotricity is regrettable and we will be writing to shareholders setting out our position and the importance of voting against Ecotricity’s proposal.”

Ecotricity said it is “disappointed at the tone taken by Good Energy” and “surprised at the suggestion we would not operate in the interest of the business”.

Mr Vince added: “As the largest single shareholder in Good Energy, we have the most to lose if the business does not succeed… Good Energy faces some clear challenges that we are equipped to assist with. We believe that we can bring deep sector knowledge and strategic ability to the board of Good ENergy for the benefit of all its shareholders.”