Centrica’s North American arm Direct Energy is to buy Texas-based energy retailer First Choice Power for $270m.

First Choice Power has more than 220,000 residential and commercial electricity accounts in Texas and the deal will take Direct Energy’s customer base in the state to more than 830,000.

Direct Energy’s president Chris Weston said First Choice was targeted because it is “an established brand with a loyal customer base” and its acquisition “will significantly enlarge our business in one of the key US deregulated residential markets, providing a valuable platform for future growth”.

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