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Cut-throat side of eco energy exposed, as rival tries to appoint itself on Good Energy board

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Juliet Davenport of Good EnergyJuliet Davenport of Good EnergyChippenham-based eco energy provider Good Energy was this morning trying to see off a move by a commercial rival to appoint himself and a colleague onto its board.

Over the past 12 months, Stroud-based Ecotricity – a direct competitor has been buying up shares in Good Energy. It is now the company’s largest single shareholder, with a 25.3 percent stake.

Ecotricity has now requisitioned a general meeting of Good Energy’s shareholders to consider the appointment of its founder and sole shareholder Dale Vince to the Good Energy board.

Mr Vince also wants Simon Crowfoot, managing director of Ecotricity’s Electric Highway division, to be appointed as a non-executive director.

The appointments will be passed if more than 50 percent of the votes cast at the general meeting are in favour… including those to be cast by Ecotricity.

The meeting must be called within 21 days and is expected to be held by the end of August.

This morning, Good Energy was attempting to fight off the move. In a statement, it said: “The board of Good Energy believes that the appointment of representatives from a direct competitor as non-executive directors would present significant conflicts of interest that would work against the best interests of Good Energy’s shareholders as a whole, as well as Good Energy’s customers and other stakeholders.

“Accordingly the Board does not welcome Ecotricity’s proposal to appoint Dale Vince and Simon Crowfoot as non-executive directors of Good Energy and will be writing to shareholders in due course with a detailed response and with a unanimous recommendation to vote against the resolutions.”

John Maltby, chairman of Good Energy, said: “Having the owner and senior management of a direct competitor on our board would be unworkable. There can be no reasonable expectation that any representative of Ecotricity would put the interests of Good Energy shareholders, customers and other stakeholders before those of Ecotricity.

“The proposed appointments, if implemented, would significantly curtail the ability of Good Energy’s board to operate and consider any commercial matter in a unified way, creating unnecessary administrative, financial and competitive penalties for the company.

“This action by Ecotricity is regrettable and we will be writing to shareholders setting out our position and the importance of voting against Ecotricity’s proposal.”

Founded in 2003 by Juliet Davenport, Good Energy employs nearly 300 people at its Chippenham headquarters.