Centrica sells North American business for $3.6bn

The move is expected to help the energy giant reduce the debt and focus on the UK and Irish markets

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Centrica has announced it has sold its North American subsidiary Direct Energy for $3.63 billion (£2.8bn).

The energy supply, services and trading business has been taken over by the American energy company NRG Energy, which has its headquarters in New Jersey and Texas and serves nearly 2.9 million retail customers across several states.

This move is expected to reduce ‘significantly’ the net debt of the energy giant and help it focus on its ‘core home markets’ of the UK and Ireland.

Chris O’Shea, Group Chief Executive of Centrica, said: “This disposal is aligned to our strategy to become a simpler, leaner business and in addition, it will materially strengthen our balance sheet and remove a source of earnings volatility from the group.

“Combined with our focus on completing our intended exits from Spirit Energy and Nuclear at the appropriate time, this is expected to lead to a more predictable and high-quality earnings stream moving forward.”

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