Dale Vince, OBE, the entrepreneur who founded major Stroud employer Ecotricity and went from New Age Traveller to multi-millionaire, has put the business up for sale.
Vince, who famously founded the company from a single windmill and fashioned the business around the growing clamour for green power as the electricity market was deregulated, announced on Friday 1 April 2022 that he plans a move into politics.
In a message to staff, also shared on social media, the 60-year-old said the planned move was to ‘clear the decks for some new frontiers’ including the next general election, which he described as the ‘most important of our lives’.
‘This is a huge decision, but it’s the right decision at the right time,’ said Vince.
It was a move he teased in his autobiography, Manifesto in 2020, and which, when the news broke on Friday 1 April 2022 he was forced to deny was ‘not an April fool’, stressing his objective was to find a buyer who would remain committed to Stroud where the firm has 800 staff.
He also said he was looking for someone with deep enough pockets to ‘turbocharge the development of the company’s green energy pipeline’.
According to Ecotricity, it is in the ‘biggest year of construction in its history’ – creating an estimated 30 megawatts of renewable energy with two solar parks and a battery storage project, alongside the green gas mill – all due to be completed this year.
The sale is being handled by KPMG, but according to Vince the firm has not officially taken it to market yet.
Ecotricity's last set of published accounts show a 7.9 per cent increase in turnover in 2021, to nearly £240 million. Gross profit was down 18.1 per cent to £23.6 million.
Vince plans to continue as chairman of Forest Green Rovers, Climate Champion for Sport with the UN and as a sustainability advisor to UEFA.
Meanwhile, work continues on Eco Park – the green tech business park and new home for Forest Green Rovers near the M5 near Stroud, which it is claimed will create 4,000 new jobs.