The green power provider Ecotricity has launched a surprise bid for two seats on the board of rival Good Energy.
Good Energy confirmed today (10 July) it has received a request for a general meeting be held to consider the appointment of Ecotricity founder and chief executive, Dale Vince, and the managing director of its electric highway division, Simon Crowfoot, as non-executive directors on the Good Energy board.
According to Good Energy, Ecotricity has become the single largest shareholder in the company over the last 12 months and now owns 25.30 per cent of its issued share capital.
The company now intends to call a general meeting and said further announcements will be made “in due course”.
But in a strongly-worded statement, the chairman of Good Energy, John Maltby, said having the owner and senior management from a direct competitor on the board would be “unworkable”.
“There can be no reasonable expectation that any representative of Ecotricity would put the interests of Good Energy shareholders, customers and other stakeholders before those of Ecotricity,” added Maltby.
“The proposed appointments, if implemented, would significantly curtail the ability of Good Energy’s board to operate and consider any commercial matter in a unified way, creating unnecessary administrative, financial and competitive penalties for the company.
“This action by Ecotricity is regrettable and we will be writing to shareholders setting out our position and the importance of voting against Ecotricity’s proposals.”
In response, Mr Vince said while “we recognise there are issues of commerciality that need to be dealt with, we are confident they can be”.
He added Good Energy “faces some clear challenges that we are equipped to assist with”.
“We are disappointed at the tone taken by Good Energy in their announcement, and surprised at the suggestion we would not operate in the interest of the business,” he added.
“As the largest single shareholder in Good Energy (25.3%) we have the most to lose if the business does not succeed. And of course board representation for such a significant shareholder is quite normal on the AIM market.
“We believe that we can bring deep sector knowledge and strategic ability to the board of Good Energy for the benefit of all its shareholders.”