Bulb Energy’s Special Administration Regime

Linklaters advised the energy administrators of Bulb Energy Limited. Watson Farley & Williams advised Sequoia Economic Infrastructure Income Fund.

Matthew Cowlishaw, Matthew Smith and Daniel Butters of Teneo Restructuring were appointed as energy administrators of Bulb Energy Limited (“Bulb”) in the first ever use of the energy supply company administration regime which is intended to be used for large energy supply companies where it is not feasible to appoint a “Supplier of Last Resort”.

Bulb is the UK’s seventh largest energy company with 1,000 staff and over 1.6 million customers. It is the largest UK energy supply business to collapse following the rise in wholesale gas prices this year.

Bulb entered energy supply company administration on 24 November 2021 pursuant to a court order following an application made by the Gas and Electricity Markets Authority in reliance on section 156(1)(b) of the Energy Act 2004, and with the consent of the Secretary of State. In accordance with section 95 of the Energy Act 2011, the objective of the administration is, broadly, to ensure the continuity of energy supply to Bulb’s customers at the lowest cost which it is reasonably practicable to incur. To assist in achieving this objective, the energy administrators agreed a £1.689 billion administration funding agreement (“AFA”) with the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. The energy administrators sought a direction from the court to enter into the AFA, which was granted on the basis that entry into the AFA was a “particularly momentous” decision to be taken by the energy administrators, consistent with Re Nortel Networks UK Limited (No.2).

The Linklaters cross-practice team was led by Restructuring & Insolvency partners Richard Hodgson (Picture) and Matthew Harding and managing associate Rowland Light, and included Dispute Resolution partners Euan Clarke and Chris Stevenson, managing associate Elenor Parkhouse and Energy & Infrastructure partner Jeremy Gewirtz.

The multi-disciplinary WFW London team advising Sequoia is being led by Restructuring & Insolvency Partner Stephen Parker and includes Energy Partner Daisy East and Dispute Resolution Partner Andrew Hutcheon. They were supported by Dispute Resolution Associates Simon Jennings and Matthew Robinson, Energy Associates Esteira Hiwaizi and Aidan Graham and Trainee Mounah Abdallah.

Involved fees earner: Euan Clarke – Linklaters; Jeremy Gewirtz – Linklaters; Matthew Harding – Linklaters; Richard Hodgson – Linklaters; Rowland Light – Linklaters; Chris Stevenson – Linklaters; Daisy East – Watson Farley & Williams; Esteira Hiwaizi – Watson Farley & Williams; Andrew Hutcheon – Watson Farley & Williams; Simon Jennings – Watson Farley & Williams; Stephen Parker – Watson Farley & Williams; Matthew Robinson – Watson Farley & Williams;

Law Firms: Linklaters; Watson Farley & Williams;

Clients: Butters Daniel; Cowlishaw Matthew; Sequoia Economic Infrastructure Income Fund; Smith Matthew;

Giulia Di Palma

Author: Giulia Di Palma