Centrica acquires over 250,000 telecoms customers

Centrica plc today announced that the group has acquired Telco Holdings Limited, a UK telecommunications business operating under the Telco Global brand, for a consideration of £43 million in cash and the assumption of £1.2 million of debt.

Telco Global will add 238,000 residential fixed line customers, of which 80 per cent are on Carrier Pre Selection, 11,000 business fixed line customers and around 10,000 business mobile customers, including a number of large corporate accounts, to One.Tel’s existing 1.1 million customer base.

In addition to increasing significantly Centrica’s already sizeable telecoms customer base, the acquisition brings a number of other synergies. These include a strengthened presence in the B2B market, entry into the international pre-paid phone card market and the capability to launch Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services. The acquisition will also increase Centrica’s purchasing power by increasing fixed line voice minutes from around 5.6 billion minutes per annum to around 7.7 billion.

Centrica Telecommunications currently has around 1.5 million customer accounts under the One.Tel and British Gas Communications brands. The acquired customers will be integrated into the One.Tel business and it is expected that significant additional value will be realised through cost efficiencies and operational synergies.

Sir Roy Gardner, Chief Executive of Centrica, said: "Today’s acquisition will enable us to consolidate our position as the UK’s largest indirect access telecommunications company, reinforcing One.Tel as the major alternative for BT customers, and supporting our efforts in the B2B market."