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Energis Communications Limited
Company typePrivate
Founded18 July 1991
(32 years ago)
Defunct11 November 2005 (2005-11-11)
FateTaken over by Cable & Wireless
HeadquartersReading, Berkshire
Leeds, West Yorkshire
Key people
ProductsVarious, including IPLC
RevenueIncrease£361 million (2006) [citation needed]

Energis Communications Limited, briefly Telecom Electric, or more usually just Energis, was a 'technology driven communications company' based in the United Kingdom and Ireland. The company was once a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index, but subsequently went into administration, and then became a subsidiary of Cable & Wireless, in turn acquired by Vodafone.


The company was formed in July 1991, as Telecom Electric by way of a demerger from the United Kingdom's National Grid Company.[1] Its national optical fibre network was partially deployed via the overhead power transmission network of the grid. The company was first listed on the London Stock Exchange, and the NASDAQ, in October 1997.[1]

Energis acquired a number of companies in the United Kingdom and Europe, including Planet Online,[2] ISION AG[3] and others. At one point its Market capitalization was over £10 billion making it one of the largest companies by market capital. However, in the process the company over extended itself with borrowings to fund these acquisitions.

Planet Online, by then a subsidiary of Energis, worked with its new parent to help Dixons launch the Freeserve ISP. Energis provided the telephony services and Planet Online provided the e-mail, Internet access etc.[4]

Energis plc was placed in administration in July 2002, with its operations in the United Kingdom immediately being transferred to Energis Communications Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of a new holding company owned by the banks, and known as Chelys.[5] Archie Norman was hired as chairman to revive the business.

In November 2002 the Ision parts of the energis group were sold onto NDO with the remainder, mostly made up of Planet Online continued asEnergis Communications Ltd until August 2005. Cable & Wireless then made an offer to acquire the company for £594 million.[6]

The bid was accepted by a binding majority of Energis debt holders, and the company became part of Cable & Wireless on 11 November 2005.[7]


In its final form, Energis provided a number of services based around its core platforms of ISP, transmission, IP networking (Energis had a Nortel SDH network with Internet access provided via Cisco routers using MPLS technology), contact centre solutions and voice (traditional switched telephony).

Energis provided services to a number of businesses, a few of the more interesting were:

Senior management[edit]

Energis was led by a number of chief executive officers during its existence.

  • Mar 1993 – Dec 1995: David Dey
  • Dec 1995 – Aug 2001: Mike Grabiner
  • Aug 2001 – Jul 2002: David Wickham
  • Jul 2002 – November 2005: John Pluthero


  1. ^ a b "zero-sum.net". www.zero-sum.net. Retrieved 6 March 2022.
  2. ^ "BBC News | The Company File | Sykes sells Planet Online". news.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 6 March 2022.
  3. ^ Kapner, Suzanne (20 December 2000). "WORLD BUSINESS BRIEFING: EUROPE; ENERGIS TO BUY ISION". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 6 March 2022.
  4. ^ "FindArticles.com | CBSi". findarticles.com. Retrieved 6 March 2022.
  5. ^ "Norman ready to energise Energis". www.telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 6 March 2022.
  6. ^ "C&W set to win Energis race". Archived from the original on 4 December 2005. Retrieved 15 August 2005.
  7. ^ Richardson, Tim. "C&W/Energis merger to be finalised shortly". www.theregister.com. Retrieved 6 March 2022.