Energy suppliers lose High Court bid over Govt’s role in sale of collapsed Bulb

ENERGY suppliers have lost a High Court challenge over the Government’s handling of the sale of collapsed firm Bulb.

Scottish Power, British Gas and EON claimed an “unfair sale process” by rival Octopus Energy.


Judges rejected the energy suppliers’ challenge for how the sale of collapsed firm Bulb was handled

But judges yesterday rejected the challenge, saying: “The Octopus transaction was the only bid to emerge from a lengthy mergers and acquisitions process which was open, transparent and competitive.”

British Gas owner Centrica said it would now “consider our options”, adding: “We think state bailouts put a burden on the UK taxpayer.”

But Octopus accused its rivals of mounting the case in “a desperate attempt to defend their waning market positions against a more efficient rival”.

Bulb was placed into special administration in November 2021 after financial problems following a sharp rise in wholesale gas prices.

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In October last year, Octopus announced a deal to buy Bulb and take on its 1.6 million customers, backed by the Government.

Ministers had offered Octopus £4.5billion to help fund the takeover — but falling wholesale energy prices now put the bailout cost nearer £246million.

Octopus said: “The High Court’s findings are clear: we paid a fair price for Bulb in an open and competitive process.”


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BARS and restaurants face a £7.3billion increase in energy costs after government help is cut today.

Power bills are now 11.4 per cent of business turnover, up from 3.4 per cent before the crisis, says UK Hospitality.

Its boss Kate Nicholls said: “The energy crisis has suffocated businesses in the past year.”


HOUSE prices have fallen 3.1 per cent in the past 12 months.

It is the largest annual drop since July 2009, Nationwide says, after prices sank for the seventh month in a row — 0.8% in March alone.

Chief economist Robert Gardner said: “It will be hard for the market to regain much momentum.”

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