PPL is an energy retailer, supplying gas and/or electricity to approximately 235,000 domestic members. BMHL is a service company to PPL. Both PPL and BMHL are headquartered in Bath.
The rapid rise in market energy prices and the regulatory price cap have squeezed the liquidity position of the Companies and made PPL’s member portfolio loss-making. Despite discussions with its key stakeholders, the Companies were not able to secure the requisite funding in order to continue to trade.
As a result, PPL informed the Gas and Electricity Markets Authority (“OFGEM”) that it would be ceasing to trade. OFGEM sought to immediately ensure continuity of supply for PPL’s members through its Supplier of Last Resort (“SoLR”) process for dealing with distressed energy providers.
On 18 October 2021 OFGEM announced its decision to appoint Shell Energy Retail Limited (“Shell Energy”) as the SoLR with all 235,000 members transferring to Shell Energy with effect from 17 October 2021. Following this, OFGEM announced its decision to revoke PPL’s gas and electricity supply licences. After OFGEM’s notifications, the Directors of BMHL and PPL took steps to place both BMHL and PPL into Administration.
Eddie Williams, Toby Banfield and Mike Jervis of PwC were appointed as joint administrators of BMHL on 19 October 2021. Additionally, Eddie Williams, Toby Banfield and Ross Connock of PwC were appointed as joint administrators of PPL on 19 October 2021.
Eddie Williams, BMHL and PPL joint administrator and PwC partner, said:
"The current challenges facing the domestic energy market due to the spike in wholesale prices have been well documented. Against this backdrop, the Companies faced significant liquidity challenges, leading to a position where the business was unable to continue operating.
"We would like to thank management, employees, key stakeholders, Ofgem and Shell Energy as the incoming Supplier of Last Resort for their work and support over the last week during an intense period for the Companies and the whole industry. I would also like to thank Carl Allen and the Eversheds Sutherland’s Restructuring and Insolvency team for their support.
“Our initial priority as administrators is to work closely with Shell Energy, the incoming supplier for PPL's Members, on an orderly and efficient transition and to provide ongoing support around this process. The SOLR transfer is very well-established to ensure there is no disruption to customers’ energy supplies.
“We are also focused on supporting employees during this difficult time.”
If you’re a member, creditor or supplier, please see the relevant page below for further information.
Edward Williams, Mark James Tobias Banfield and Michael John Andrew Jervis have been appointed as joint administrators of Blue Marble Holdings Limited and Edward Williams, Mark James Tobias Banfield and Ross David Connock have been appointed as joint administrators of Pure Planet Limited to manage their affairs, business and property as its agents and act without personal liability. All are licensed in the United Kingdom to act as insolvency practitioners by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.
The Joint Administrators are bound by the Insolvency Code of Ethics which can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/insolvency-practitioner-code-of-ethics.
The Joint Administrators may act as controllers of personal data as defined by UK data protection law depending upon the specific processing activities undertaken. PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP may act as a processor on the instructions of the Joint Administrators. Personal data will be kept secure and processed only for matters relating to the Joint Administrators’ appointment. Further details are available in the privacy statement on the PwC.co.uk website or by contacting the Joint Administrators.