Concerns have grown over the fate of 16,000 UK employees as SSE and Npower plan to merge their supply businesses.
Today, Britain’s second and sixth largest energy suppliers announced they have agreed on the terms of a merger to create a supply company that would slash costs of over £100 million a year.
However, Unions have opposed the deal due to the threat it poses to jobs. Kevin Coyne, Unite’s national energy officer, said: “job losses could be on the cards to feed insatiable shareholder hunger”.
The retail arm of SSE employs 9,000 people in the UK while Npower employs 6,700 and contracts Capita for wider UK operations.
According to SSE, the deal was put forward to transfer its customers to Npower’s new IT system.
Alistair Phillips-Davies, SSE’s chief executive, described the deal as a “watershed moment for Britain’s energy supply sector” he added: “[it would] ultimately better serve customers, employees and other stakeholders”.
Although SSE said the deal would be beneficial for customers, employees and stakeholders, it was unable to offer much comfort on job cuts, saying there would be a consultation on how “any anticipated synergies result in implications for employees”.
65.6% of the merged company will be owned by SSE shareholders and Npower’s parent company, Innogy, will own the rest of the shares.