Several switching companies have confirmed to Utility Week they have not acquired Labrador, which was sold last Friday (5 April).

The automated switching service, founded by Jane Lucy, was revealed earlier this week to have gone into administration and subsequently acquired by a mystery buyer.

Andrew Long, founder and chief executive of Switchcraft, told Utility Week his company was not the new owner.

Long added: “It’s great news that the future of Labrador has been secured and that most of their staff will be kept on.

“I think their emphasis on smart meters is misplaced, which is why Switchcraft is available to everyone, but I respect anyone who is helping to tackle the loyalty penalty in the energy market.”

Morgan Young, head of growth at Switchd, who also confirmed their company was not the buyer, said:”We are glad to hear that Labrador has been acquired and will be continuing their service.

“Although they’re a competitor of ours, it’s always good to have somebody else in the space banging the drum about the virtues of auto-switching and keeping us on our toes.

“However, it certainly is cause for concern for our free competitors. As energy companies become less and less willing to pay a commission to auto-switching services, free services stand to make less money out of the switches they make on their behalf.

“If this pattern continues, these services may be forced to pivot or else risk going out of business altogether.”

Similarly GoCompare, owner of Weflip, and Henry de Zoete, founder of Look After My Bills, also confirmed they were not taking on the company.

A spokesperson for Flipper meanwhile said the company did not know the details of the acquisition.

Speaking to Utility Week on Monday (8 April) Lucy said Labrador would have gone under had it not been acquired.

She added that in the meantime it was “business as usual” for customers using the service, which has not gone offline.

An official statement from administrators Carter Backer Winter LLP said: ”Following a review of the financial position, the board of directors appointed Joseph Colley and John Dickinson of Carter Backer Winter LLP as joint administrators of the company on 25 March 2019.

“A sale of the assets of the company completed on 5 April 2019 and we are pleased to say that Labrador has been acquired by a company that understands the true value of their technology.

“The founder and technical team have been retained and full service remains and will continue to remain live so customers need not worry.”

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