ENERGY giant SSE revealed last night that the proposed merger of its retail business with npower will be delayed, citing the introduction of the energy price cap, writes Scott Wright.

Perth-based SSE confirmed it is in talks with German counterpart Innogy, parent company of npower, over potential changes to the commercial terms of the proposed merger of the companies’ respective retail businesses.

The discussions will explore the impact of the Default Tariff Cap, due to come into effect on January 1, on the “new company’s requirements to post collateral against its credit exposure and its ability to obtain and retain an appropriate credit rating”.

SSE noted that, with the discussions expected to take place over several weeks, completion of the merger will be delayed beyond the first quarter of 2019. It said that all work geared towards forming and listing the new company on the London Stock Exchange will continue.

The Competition and Markets Authority gave provisional clearance to the merger in August.

SSE chief executive Alistair Phillips-Davies said: “We continue to believe that creating a new, independent energy supplier has the potential to deliver real benefits for customers and the market as a whole, and that remains our objective. “