A NORTH-EAST energy and utilities consultancy firm says it hopes to expand further into the corporate market after acquiring a rival company.

Utilitywise, in South Shields, South Tyneside, has bought Energy Information Centre (EIC), based in Redditch, Worcestershire, for an undisclosed sum.

The firm was supported by £10m funding facilities from the Newcastle RBS corporate and institutional banking team.

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Founded in 2006, Utilitywise employs about 400 workers and last year became the first company in the region in five years to float on the stock market.

The business focuses on the brokerage of competitive gas and electricity tariffs for UK businesses, but also provides energy monitoring and water services.

The deal will see Utilitywise benefit from working with EIC's large corporate business clients, and take on its energy market and consultancy services.

Andrew Richardson, Utilitywise's chief financial officer, said: “Our business has gone from strength to strength over the past seven years and this is an indication of our aspirations in the UK corporate market.

“We offer an in-demand service to a growing number of cost conscious clients and are very confident in the strength of our business model and our ambitions.”

Graham Robinson, RBS corporate and institutional banking relationship director, said: “Utilitywise is a strong, growing business and a true success story for the North-East, and we welcome them as a client.”