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Shell acquires online energy retailer in Australia

Shell acquires online energy retailer in Australia
Photo by Vlad Kutepov on Unsplash

Meridian Energy Limited is selling its Australian energy business to a consortium led by Shell Energy Operations Pty Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Shell, and Australian investment manager Infrastructure Capital Group (ICG), for AUD729 million (USD527.6 million).

The acquisition is subject to regulatory approvals. It is expected to be completed in the first half of 2022.

The agreement follows a review of Meridian Energy Australia by the New Zealand-based electricity generator and retailer. Meridian Energy generates the largest proportion of New Zealand’s electricity, generating 35% of the country’s electricity and is the fourth largest energy retailer, with 14% market share in terms of customers. Meridian Energy Australia has about 294 megawatts of renewable generation capacity, along with a retail power and gas business.

Under the deal, Shell will take control of Powershop Australia, an online energy retailer serving more than 185,000 customers, while ICG will own the hydro power and wind farm assets in Australia. Powershop Australia offers electricity in Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia and South-East Queensland, as well as gas in Victoria. 

“Shell has been in Australia for more than 120 years and has a proud history of providing Australians with the energy they need to power their lives. This acquisition will see Shell continuing to serve the energy needs of our customers – this time in their homes,” said Shell Australia Chairman Tony Nunan.

The acquisition of Powershop Australia is in line with Shell’s Powering Progress strategy and ambition to create an integrated power business. Powershop Australia will form Shell’s residential power platform in Australia, extending Shell’s existing position as Australia’s largest dedicated retailer of electricity to commercial and industrial customers. Under the arrangement with ICG, Shell Energy will also acquire wind power purchase agreements (PPAs) and has agreed offtake arrangements with ICG associated with Meridian Energy Australia’s hydro and wind far assets.

“Our aim is to become a leading provider of clean power-as-a-service and this acquisition broadens our customer portfolio in Australia to include households,” said Shell’s Executive Vice President of Renewables and Energy Solutions Elisabeth Brinton. “Shell’s presence across the entirety of our changing energy system means we are well-placed to manage complexity for customers so that we deliver simple, cleaner energy solutions.”

“This acquisition is another example of how we are continuing to grow our footprint in Australia to meet customers’ evolving needs through the energy transition. Powershop today offers innovative energy packages, and customers will benefit in the future from access to Shell’s broader suite of energy solutions linked to e-mobility and battery storage,” said Nunan.