CENTRICA PLC

CENTRICA PLC

Previous company name
YIELDTOP PUBLIC LIMITED COMPANY
Name change date
12/19/1996
Company Overview
Centrica Group PLC, created in 1997 from the demerger of British Gas PLC (subsequently renamed bg plc), is a provider of energy and other services to retail and business customers throughout the United Kingdom. The group’s activities include financial services, energy provision and resource management, home and road services and business development. The group comprised the gas supply, services and retail businesses of British Gas, together with the gas production business of the North and South Morecambe gas fields. Centrica, also the company’s flagship, provides a fully integrated service package to customers, from the installation of equipment, to servicing, meter reading, repairs in the home and under roads, and a tailored insurance facility. There is also a range of domestic appliances made available through high street showrooms. Centrica is active in the management of its resources through its subsidiaries Accord Energy, Hydrocarbon Resources and Centrica Resources. In North America, the group is the market leader in the unregulated sector of energy supply and home services through its subsidiary Direct Energy. Centrica’s strategy is to create value for its shareholders by deepening customer relationships, ensuring a competitive cost of supply and achieving operational efficiency by sharing knowledge and best practice. Within this context, the group’s focus is entirely on energy and related home services in an international environment.
Business Summary
The principal activities of the Company are focusing on securing and delivering energy and offering a distinctive range of home and business energy solutions.
Description and history
The Company, created in 1997 from the demerger of British Gas Plc (subsequently renamed BG Plc), is a provider of energy and other services to retail and business customers throughout the United Kingdom. The Group’s activities include financial services, energy provision and resource management, home and road services and business development. Energy is supplied to businesses and homes throughout the UK, under the British Gas brand in England and Wales and Scottish Gas in Scotland. Initially, only gas was available to customers, although since December 1997 electricity has also been provided under the British Gas label. The two companies provide a fully integrated service package to customers, from the installation of equipment, to servicing, meter reading, repairs in the home and under roads, and a tailored insurance facility. There is also a range of domestic appliances made available through high street showrooms. In order to maintain a reliable and efficient energy supply, the Company is active in the management of their resources through subsidiaries Accord Energy, Hydrocarbon Resources and Centrica Resources. These companies negotiate agreements with major oil companies, including Shell UK, Fina and Agip, and buy interests in specific areas and fields from other companies. The Group recently entered into agreements with Innogy, Amerada Hess, Kerr-McGee and Burlington to acquire further interests in offshore assets in the North Sea and Irish Sea. During December 2000, the Company announced the acquisition of Avalanche Energy Limited, a privately held Canadian gas and oil production company. In July 2001, the Company agreed to acquire Halfords garages chain on behalf of the AA. The Group also acquired Trolhurst Limited, a provider of gas appliance servicing and central heating installation in Britain. In December 2001, British Gas Trading Ltd, a subsidiary of the Company entered into an agreement to acquire the customer base and certain assets of Enron Direct Ltd (EDL), part of the Enron Corporation. EDL are suppliers of electricity to the commercial sector. 2002 witnessed the Group’s announcement of the acquisition of the customers and associated infrastructure of European Internet security and messaging company Iomart Group Plc. In February of 2002, the Group signed an agreement to acquire NewPower, the NYSE-listed US retailer of gas and electricity. In November 2002, the Group reached an agreement to sell its liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) business, British Gas LPG to DCC, the business that supports the Group. In December 2002, the Group acquired the retail gas and electricity supply businesses of the ATCO Group in Alberta, Canada. In July 2004, the Company agreed the sale of the Automobile Association, which it acquired in July 1999, to a company formed by CVC Capital Partners Limited and Permira Advisers Limited. The sale of the AA comes as part of the Company’ s efforts to focus on core energy activities. The Group’ s international strategy is to export the Company’ s framework internationally to develop emerging energy markets. In addition, the Company will expand in the UK through exploring new business opportunities. In August 2005, the Group agreed to acquire the non-operated interests in four producing gas fields in the Northern and Central North Sea from Kerr McGee. In September 2005, the Group announced that through Segebel SA, a holding company owned 50/50 in a joint venture with Gaz de France SA. It acquired a controlling stake in SPE SA, a Belgian energy company.
History:
2005
19 December 2005
The Company announces that it has agreed to sell its telecommunications business, Onetel, to the Carphone Warehouse Group for a consideration of up to Ј154 million.
6 June 2005
The Company enters the deregulating Netherlands energy market with the acquisition of Oxxio, the country’ s fourth largest electricity supplier.
19 May 2005
The Company sells the British Gas Connections business for Ј90million.
22 April 2005
The acquisition of internet service provider Rednet adds to Onetel’ s capability to provide internet solutions.
31 March 2005
The Company acquires LNG capacity at the Isle of Grain terminal as part of its strategy to procure future gas supplies from a range of international sources.
2004
9 December 2004
Jake Ulrich, Managing Director, Centrica Energy, appointed to the board of Centrica plc.
2 December 2004
The Company adds to its generating capacity in Texas with the acquisition of the 477MW Frontera Power Station.
11 October 2004
The 26MW Glens of Foudland Wind Farm project in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, acquired from Renewable Energy Systems UK Limited.
1 October 2004
The Company acquired the Dyno group, the UK’ s leading on-demand drain maintenance specialist and it’s related businesses.
30 September 2004
Completion of the sale of the AA to CVC Capital Partners and Permira for Ј1.75bn.
24 September 2004
The Company gains over 250,000 telecoms customers in the UK with the acquisition of Telco Global.
11 August 2004
First long term liquefied natural gas contract signed with Asean LNG Trading Company, a subsidiary of the Malaysian state oil and gas company, Petronas.
8 June 2004
The acquisition of the 652 MW Killingholme Power station, in North Lincolnshire, increases the Company’ s interests in gas-fired generating capacity to seven stations in Britain.
10 May 2004
Roger Carr appointed non-executive Chairman of the Company.
4 May 2004
The retail gas and electricity business of ATCO Group in Alberta Canada transferred to the Company.
23 April 2004
The Company gains its first power station in US with the acquisition of the 540MW Bastrop Energy Center in Texas.
1 March 2004
Centrica energy sourcing, production and management businesses re-branded as Centrica Energy.
2003
23 December 2003
The Company announces the acquisition of two additional offshore wind farm sites located off the Lincolnshire coast.
19 December 2003
The Secretary of State approves behavioral undertakings on the Rough gas storage facility.
9 December 2003
The Company named Utility Company of the Year in the Utility Industry Achievement Awards.
30 September 2003
Completion of the sale of Goldfish credit card and personal loans businesses to Lloyds TSB.
12 September 2003
Joint venture formed to acquire offshore windfarm company, which has the rights to develop a 90MW offshore electricity windfarm in the East Irish Sea.
15 August 2003
The Company announced that it had been awarded a contract from the partners of the Ormen Lange field, offshore Norway, to develop and operate a new gas pipeline reception facility adjacent to its Easington terminal, which will receive gas imported primarily from the Norwegian sector.
01 August 2003
The Company welcomed the announcement by the Secretary of State that it will be allowed to retain the Rough gas storage facility subject to agreement of undertakings.
24 July 2003
The Company announced the acquisition of the 240MW Barry power station in South Wales, increasing its portfolio of plants to six.
14 May 2003
The Group’ s portfolio of power stations increased to five with the acquisition of the Roosecote gas-fired station in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria. The plant adjoins the Barrow gas terminals.
7 February 2003
The Company signed electricity purchase contracts with British Energy.
2002
10 December 2002
The Company announced plans to acquire 988,000 customers in Alberta, Canada, from ATCO Group.
14 November 2002
The Company acquired Rough gas storage facility from Dynergy Inc.
4 November 2002
Sale of the Company’s LPG business to DCC plc.
5 August 2002
Commercial customer base grew through the acquisition of Electricity Direct.
1 August 2002
Acquisition of over 200,000 New Power natural gas customers in Ohio and Pennsylvania completed.
28 June 2002
The acquisition of Glanford Brigg power station added 240 MW to the Company’s generating capacity.
7 May 2002
The Company completed acquisition of the home and business services operation of Canada’ s Enbridge Inc.
17 April 2002
The Company agreed the acquisition of more than 800,000 customers in Texas.
21 February 2002
The Company placed 200.7m new ordinary shares at 215 pence per share, raising approximately Ј426m, net of expenses.
9 January 2002
The Company acquired the broadband business of Iomart Group plc.
2001
5 December 2001
British Gas acquired the energy customer business and certain assets of Enron Direct Ltd.
30 November 2001
The Company announced an agreement to acquire Trolhurst Ltd, a provider of gas appliance servicing and central heating in Britain.
19 October 2001
The Company extended its portfolio of generation plant with the acquisition of the operating leases of gas-fired power stations at King’s Lynn and Peterborough from TXU Europe.
1 September 2001
The Company acquired the garage business of Halfords. The garages are being converted into AA Services Centres.
3 July 2001
The Company became the largest provider of indirect telecoms services in the UK with around one million active customers, following the acquisition of Onetel plc.
29 June 2001
The Company announced its first step into the liberalizing energy markets of Continental Europe with the purchase of a 50 per cent share in Luminus N.V., a newly created energy supply business in Belgium.
28 June 2001
British Gas extended its electrical servicing business into 80,000 more households across Britain with the acquisition of National Homecare. British Gas Services now provides cover for over four million heating and kitchen appliances.
29 May 2001
The Company entered the power generation business with the acquisition of a 60 percent share in Humber Power Ltd – operator of a gas-fired power plant at Stallingborough, North Lincolnshire.
19 March 2001
The AA entered into a strategic alliance with the First Resort Limited, one of the UK’ s leading online travel agents.
2000
13 December 2000
The Company and Lloyds TSB agreed to form a joint venture between Goldfish, the Company’ s financial services brand, and evolvebank.com, Lloyds TSB’ s standalone internet banking operation, to offer a broad range of integrated financial services products.
12 December 2000
The Company announced that it would assume full ownership and management control of Energy America after acquiring the 72.5 per cent stake of former partner Sempra Energy.
7 December 2000
Completion of the acquisition of Avalanche Energy Limited, a privately held Canadian gas and oil production company. The assets were acquired to support the Company’ s growing customer base in Canada.
26 October 2000
The AA signed up its 10 millionth member at the Birmingham Motor Show.
16 October 2000
The Company acquired the UK LPG cylinder business of Shell Gas, strengthening British Gas’ position in the domestic LPG market.
28 September 2000
British Gas Communications opens for business, and customers make their first telephone calls using the system.
19 September 2000
Phil Bentley appointed Finance Director. Phil joined the Company from Guinness-UDV, the alcoholic beverages division of Diageo plc, where he was Finance Director.
6 July 2000
The Company announced its acquisition of the Canadian energy supply business, Direct Energy Marketing Limited, including its 27.5% interest in Energy America, a joint venture with Sempra Energy, which trades in the United States.
19 June 2000
For the second year running, the AA is the UK’ s top-ranked roadside assistance provider, according to a comprehensive survey of almost 25,000 drivers by the international market research company, JD Power.
25 April 2000
The Company made a major step towards launching a telecommunications service by announcing that it had entered into a strategic alliance with Vodafone UK
Limited, to provide mobile telephone services across Great Britain, and reached agreement with Torch Telecom and Cable & Wireless Communications for the provision of residential telecommunications services.
10 February 2000
The Company welcomed confirmation that the industry regulator Ofgem was to remove price controls for British Gas direct-debit customers from 1 April 2000 and intended to extend this for all customers from 1 April 2001.
1999
7 October 1999
Agreement was reached with Veba Oil and Gas UK and Total Oil Marine to purchase further offshore gas assets in the Southern North Sea.
28 September 1999
The Company was appointed by OAO Gazprom as its agent for operating its Interconnector capacity. In addition, OAO Gazprom, Centrica plc and Wingas GmbH announced that they had reached a tripartite agreement entitling each party to use this capacity.
16 September 1999
The Company’ s proposed acquisition of the Automobile Association received overwhelming support from members. Of the millions of proxy votes counted, approximately 96 per cent backed the purchase.
19 July 1999
The Company announced the closure of its 243 British Gas Energy Centers in the face of difficult High Street trading conditions.
15 July 1999
The Company’ s work in helping unemployed carers and disabled people enter the workplace was recognised with a major national award presented by the Prime Minister, Tony Blair. He presented Chief Executive Sir Roy Gardner with a Business in the Community Award for Excellence for the Group’ s North West New Deal Project.
5 July 1999
The board of the Company and the committee of the Automobile Association announced that they had reached agreement for the Company to acquire the AA for Ј1.1 billion, subject to the approval of members.
24 May 1999
Competition for domestic and business electricity customers completed its roll-out across Great Britain, with nearly 1.5 million customers having chosen British Gas as their electricity supplier.
8 February 1999
The Company announced agreements to acquire offshore gas assets from Dana Petroleum and British Borneo.
28 January 1999
A multi-million pound partnership between British Gas and Help the Aged was launched with the aim of combating fuel poverty and cutting the number of older people dying needlessly each winter in Great Britain.
1998
12 October 1998
The Company made its first upstream acquisition, buying PowerGen’ s upstream gas and oil company, PowerGen North Sea Limited (PGNS), for Ј248 million. The acquisition involved interests in eight producing fields and several undeveloped gas fields in the Southern North Sea (SNS) and the East Irish Sea, close to the Company’ s existing Morecambe fields operation.
1 October 1998
The Company was one of the first companies to flow gas through the UK-Continent Interconnector on the day it opened.
14 September 1998
The first domestic customers received their electricity supply from British Gas. More than 400,000 customers had signed up for electricity by the time in which the market opened in the Canterbury, Chester, Hull and Norwich areas.
16 July 1998
The Company was chosen to lead an innovative project under the Government’ s New Deal for Disabled People. The Company was one of 10 groups named to receive financial support for its scheme providing work, new job skills and training for disabled people who have been long-term unemployed. The project was the only one selected which provided opportunities for carers as well as those who are sick or disabled.
22 June 1998
The Company, through its subsidiary Hydrocarbon Resources Limited, reached agreement with Burlington Resources (Irish Sea) Ltd. to transport and process natural gas from its Millom and Dalton fields in the East Irish Sea.
23 May 1998
The Company ceased to be a monopoly supplier as gas competition completed its roll-out across Great Britain. The last tranche of the roll-out opened up competition to 3.1 million homes in Greater London and Surrey.
12 February 1998
An innovative gas contract which links the price of gas to market levels was agreed between Centrica and Enron Europe. Under the 10-year contract, Enron agreed to supply the Company with more than five billion cubic meters of gas at prices linked to the screen-based International Petroleum Exchange (IPE) Natural Gas Futures Contract.
1997
4 December 1997
Substantial price reductions were announced on the Company’ s ‘Take or Pay’ contracts with Conoco and the bulk of its high-priced gas purchase commitments with Elf and Total. As a result of these agreements, together with deals done with other suppliers, Chief Executive Sir Roy Gardner said that the Company’ s inherited gas contract exposures had been reduced to a manageable level.
1 December 1997
The Company launched its first financial product to complement the Goldfish credit card. A home and contents’ insurance package that offers average savings worth Ј75 that was launched under the British Gas and Goldfish brands.
9 October 1997
The Company announced further Interconnector gas export sales to the Netherlands through the UK-Continent Interconnector pipeline. Under the agreements, the Company agreed to sell a total of around 0.7 billion cubic meters per annum to EnTrade – a trading joint venture between PNEM and MEGA – and DELTA over a period of eight years.
3 October 1997
The Company launched it first major nationwide advertising campaign to promote the British Gas brand, publicize major price cuts and announce its entry into the domestic electricity market. The objective was to reinforce the British Gas brand and promote the Company’ s commitment to becoming Great Britain’s leading energy supplier.
1 October 1997
The Company reached agreement with Mobil North Sea Limited, ARCO British Limited and Eastern Natural Gas (Offshore) Limited to terminate the Welland gas sale and purchase contracts. This further reduced the Company’ s gas purchase contract commitments.
1 October 1997
Education and Employment Minister Andrew Smith MP announced that the Company would be launching a new employment and training programme as part of the government’ s New Deal initiative. The programme focused particularly on disadvantaged groups with special needs such as unemployed disabled people and long-term carers returning to work.
24 July 1997
The Company reached an agreement with Amerada Hess, Enterprise Oil and OMV to terminate gas sale and purchase contracts for the Beryl field. The agreements marked another major step towards the Company reducing its gas purchase contract commitments.
15 July 1997
The Company entered its first agreement to supply gas through the UK-Continent Interconnector pipeline direct to a major energy user, rather than a gas trading/transmission company. The agreement to supply the Elsta co-generation project in the Netherlands was for around 1 billion cubic meters per annum over a period of eight years.
1 July 1997
Sir Michael Perry appointed non-executive Chairman of the Company.
14 May 1997
Centrica and Thyssengas signed contract to supply gas through the UK-Continent Interconnector pipeline. Under the agreement, the Company agreed to sell to Thyssengas up to 3 billion cubic meters of gas over a period of seven years. Deliveries started in October 1998 when the Interconnector opened.
21 February 1997
The Company took operational control of Accord Energy, previously a joint venture between British Gas and NGC Corporation, of Houston, USA. Accord Energy is a major player in the short-term gas trading and wholesaling market in Great Britain.
17 February 1997
The Company is created following the demerger of British Gas plc. The Group comprised the gas supply, services and retail businesses of British Gas, together with the gas production business of the North and South Morecambe gas fields. It also retained ownership of the Goldfish brand.

Created from the demerger of British Gas PLC (subsequently renamed bg plc)

Business Line
Provider of energy and related home services
Subsidiary
ACCORD ENERGY (TRADING) LIMITED
Advisor
PRICEWATERHOUSECOOPERS LLP
IPO date
2/17/1997
US SIC Code
4924
Company Address
Millstream
Maidenhead Road
City province or state postal code
SL4 5GD, WINDSOR
Phone: +44 1753 494000
Fax: +44 1753 494001
Country address: UNITED KINGDOM
Website url: www.centrica.co.uk