Mitsubishi Corp. takes 20 percent stake in UK's OVO Energy

The logo of Mitsubishi Corporation is displayed at the entrance of the company headquarters building in Tokyo, Japan, April 26, 2016. REUTERS/Issei Kato/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - Japan’s Mitsubishi Corporation has bought a 20 percent minority stake in British power supplier OVO Energy for 200 million pounds ($257 million), the firms said on Thursday.

Independent energy company OVO Energy said it would use the proceeds of Mitsubishi’s investment to expand into new markets across Europe and Asia Pacific and speed up the development of its new energy technologies unit, Kaluza.

Kaluza will develop and manage software and hardware to support the integration of electric vehicles and battery storage onto the grid.

“We want to be at the forefront of the global, tech-enabled transition to a zero carbon energy system. This investment from Mitsubishi Corporation will help us get there,” said Stephen Fitzpatrick, founder and chief executive of OVO.

Mitsubishi Corp. has around 6.2 gigawatts (GW) of energy assets under management and in operation worldwide, roughly equivalent to the energy supply for 8.5 million households.

OVO is the largest independent energy supplier in Britain with over 1.5 million customers. It launched the first domestic vehicle-to-grid charger for electric vehicles last year.

($1 = 0.7786 pounds)

Reporting by Nina Chestney; editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise