Shell’s former vice president for downstream strategy and portfolio, Colin Crooks, has been appointed chief executive of First Utility.

He succeeds former chief executive Ian McCaig, who was in the post from 2012 until October 2017.

The news comes as Shell completes its acquisition of First Utility, following the approval of the deal last week from the European Commission.

Shell said in a statement the move will offer consumers “a real alternative” to other energy companies in the sector.

The completion of the deal means First Utility is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Shell,

Crooks said of the news: “The rapidly evolving retail energy market is a natural place for Shell to expand its business, building on the trusted relationships we’ve built with our millions of forecourt customers.”

As to the company’s plans going forward, Crooks said it aims to grow its customer base, “by offering an attractive range of products and a real alternative to other companies in the sector.”

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