Texas Electricity Giant Vistra Grows Its Market Share With $475 Million Deal for Ambit Energy

This story is developing and will be updated.Irving-based Vistra Energy will soon hold an industry-leading percentage of electricity customers in competitive U.S. markets with a $475 million purchase of Dallas-based Ambit Energy.Vistra announced the cash deal Tuesday and said its share in Texas alone will grow to one of every three residential consumers. Nationally, Vistra will have 26% of customers in competitive markets.Ambit, founded in 2006 by Jere Thompson Jr. and Chris Chambless after Texas' electric market deregulated, now serves 1.1 million customers in 17 states. It was a pioneer in direct-selling of electricity plans, using independent contractors to grow its footprint."Ambit is a very attractive standalone retail company and a great match for Vistra's retail business, given its leading direct selling capability and its proprietary technology platform," Vistra CEO Curt Morgan said in a statement. "Importantly, Ambit's retail load ... is 90 percent comprised of residential and small business customers." The deal will require antitrust review and approval by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Vistra, which also generates electricity through its Luminant subsidiary, said it expects the acquisition to close later this year.Vistra estimates the deal will reduce costs by $25 million by folding Ambit's administrative functions into its own, allowing the companies to be integrated more quickly. It also projects Ambit boosting its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization by $125 million on an annual basis."The North Texas overlap of administrative functions will uniquely position Vistra to capture synergies and enable the teams to quickly integrate operations," Morgan said.Ambit's revenue of $1.3 billion ranked it as the 14th largest direct-selling company in 2018, according to trade publication Direct Selling News. That was down about 13% from the company's peak of $1.5 billion in revenue in 2014.  Continue reading...

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