SSE says ‘there has been no decision’ to split up business

Activist investor Elliott Management has reportedly been pushing for a sale.

August Graham
Monday 20 September 2021 07:51
SSE is a major builder of offshore wind farms (Peter Byrne/PA)
SSE is a major builder of offshore wind farms (Peter Byrne/PA)

Bosses at energy company SSE have taken “no decision” to break up the company, they said, after reports over the weekend suggested a split was on the cards.

SSE said it would update shareholders on its future plans in November, but stopped short of denying that a split was potentially on the cards.

“There has been no decision to break up the SSE Group,” the company said on Monday.

It added: “Following recent reshaping of the group, SSE’s clear strategic focus is on renewables and regulated electricity networks, supported by carefully chosen businesses.”

We look forward to updating investors on our plans to accelerate growth and create value in due course

Alistair Phillips-Davies, SSE

SSE sold its energy supply arm to Ovo Energy in 2020, jettisoning its consumer-facing business which had been one of the Big Six energy suppliers.

The split has reportedly been championed by Elliott Management, one of the world’s most influential activist investors.

According to The Telegraph, Elliott has convinced the board of SSE that it makes sense to split its wholesale energy business from the part that builds new wind turbines and other renewables.

However, like SSE’s comment on Monday, the report said that no final decision had been taken.

Listing the renewables business on a stock exchange separately would allow it to raise money from investors to put into developments. It would help SSE reach its goal to triple renewable output by 2030.

SSE said its November update will let shareholders know how it plans to further accelerate growth.

This will include how to boost the amount it invests and how it will fund these investments.

Chief executive Alistair Phillips-Davies said: “We have been making excellent progress with our clear net zero-aligned strategy, centred on electricity networks, renewables and other carefully chosen businesses that help provide the low-carbon electricity infrastructure that Government and wider society requires.

“SSE is the UK’s national low-carbon energy champion, delivering for both our shareholders and society, and we look forward to updating investors on our plans to accelerate growth and create value in due course.”

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