A leaked internal email written last week from chief executive of Innogy, Uwe Tigges, to his staff, states he is “extremely concerned” Npower owner Innogy will bear the brunt of thousands of job cuts planned as part of a major shakeup of the European energy industry.

Eon has said up to 5,000 jobs will be at risk when it acquires the energy networks and customer-facing parts of Innogy, as part of a huge asset swap with the rival German energy giant.

When approached, an Npower spokesperson told Utility Week: “Innogy are trying to negotiate that these job losses would be spread across both Innogy and Eon, and not just focused on Innogy employees. This agreement has not yet been reached, as mentioned in a public release last week.”

But, he added, that’s the Europe-wide situation. In the UK all of Innogy’s retail employees work for Npower. Npower is planning to merge with SSE retail and energy services – if this successfully goes through phase two of the CMA investigation, which is currently underway and is due to be completed by late October, all Npower employees will be with the new company before the Eon deal completes in late 2019.

That all being the case, Eon may still hold a minority stake in the SSE/Npower-merged company, but he said they will not be looking to integrate that company with their activities: “Provided the SSE/NPower merger goes through, we don’t think there will be any impact on Npower employees from the Innogy/Eon deal.”

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