It is understood that British Gas ruled itself out of the running several weeks back leaving the coast clear for EDF to secure the utilities category. An official announcement will take place in July.
Commenting on the deal, Tom Silk, managing director at Velocity UK, said: 'This sends a clear statement of intent to EDF's competitors. The exciting challenge for the utility sponsor is how they will engage with consumers in a traditionally low interest category while maintaining efficiencies in their cost of customer acquisition.'
The first domestic partner announced was Lloyds TSB (Marketing 3 January). The bank bought the banking as well as the lion's share of the insurance category for an estimated £80m.
EDF was a backer of the original London 2012 bid team prior to the city being awarded host city status in 2005. It also has a strong pedigree in sports sponsorship; it was a broadcast sponsor of the 2006 FIFA World Cup and is a sponsor of rugby's Heineken Cup.