1 July 2021

Mercury aiming to buy Trustpower’s retail business

Proposed sale would give Mercury 28% of the domestic electricity market.

Trustpower customers could end up buying their power from Mercury if a proposed sale announced last week gets the go ahead.

Trustpower has agreed to sell its retail arm to competitor Mercury for $441m. The sale includes Trustpower’s residential electricity business as well as its gas and telco services.

However, the deal requires Commerce Commission and shareholder approval. It’s also conditional on the restructure of the Tauranga Energy Consumer Trust, which has a 27 percent shareholding in Trustpower.

If approved, Mercury would see its residential electricity customers rise from 299,000 to 531,000, making it the largest domestic power player. Genesis Energy currently claims that spot, with 428,000 residential customers across its brands in May.

As part of the sale, Mercury will buy the Trustpower name and brand. Trustpower, which is retaining its commercial and industrial electricity customers, will adopt a new name.

Trustpower has stood out for below average performance in our annual customer satisfaction surveys.

In this year’s survey, the company got the lowest score for competitive pricing: just 28 percent of its customers were satisfied on this measure.

In 2020, it was the lowest rated retailer with an overall satisfaction score of just 43 percent.

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