Texas Powerhouse Buys Addison-based Stream Electricity Retailer for $300 Million

Addison-based Stream is being bought by a Texas powerhouse in retail electricity in an all-cash deal worth $300 million.The purchase by NRG Energy Inc., the state's biggest seller of electricty, will bring Stream's 600,000 residential customers in nine states under its corporate umbrella. It's also the latest in a series of acquisitions consolidating Texas' power market -- a trend some fear could lead to higher utility bills.NRG said the deal will increase its market share in in Texas, Pennsylvania and several other eastern U.S. states."This transaction will strengthen NRG's position as a growing, customer-driven energy company," said NRG CEO Mauricio Gutierrez in a statement. "It represents another step in perfecting our integrated business model."Stream, founded in 2005 by entrepreneurs Rob Snyder and Pierre Koshakji, is a direct-selling company with independent sales associates. Sales staff offer electricity and natural gas in 40 deregulated markets across the U.S. They also sell wireless services."NRG will be a fantastic partner and is an excellent fit for Stream and its associates," Snyder said in a statement. "This sale will allow us to focus, first and foremost, on our crusade to be a world-class direct selling business helping individuals to change their lives by offering essential services to their friends and families."The deal is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to close later this year.NRG, based in Houston and Princeton, N.J., now controls about 30 percent of Texas' retail power market. It had 3.1 million retail customers across the U.S. before the Stream acquisition.Last year, NRG added 225,000 customers when it bought fast-growing low-price leader Discount Power from Houston-based Volterra Energy Holdings.NRG, which ranks 291st on this year's Fortune 500 list with revenue of $10.8 billion, said it expects the Stream acquisition to add about $65 million annually to its pre-tax earnings.   Continue reading...

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