ATCO Ltd. is an Alberta based corporation with more than 7,000 employees operating across three main business divisions: Power Generation; Utilities (natural gas and electricity transmission and distribution) and Global Enterprises, with companies active in industrial manufacturing, technology, logistics and energy services.
ATCO Ltd. controls its operations through Canadian Utilities (). It owns 74% of Canadian Utilities' voting shares and 40% of non-voting shares. Canadian Utilities' registered head office is in Edmonton, and the main corporate office is in Calgary.
The ATCO Group of Companies includes the following subsidiaries:
ATCO Industries Ltd. became a public company in March 1968, with shares traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange. During the 1970s, the company expanded into the natural gas and petroleum industries, and into the electricity industry in the 1980s.
In 2004, with the deregulation of the retail energy industry in Alberta, ATCO sold the retail operations of ATCO Gas and ATCO Electric to Direct Energy Marketing Ltd.; ATCO Gas and ATCO Electric still operate as "distributors" (owning and operating the infrastructure that delivers natural gas or electricity in its service territories) but are no longer in the retail market. As part of the sale to DEML, DEML contracted call center and billing services from ATCO I-Tek. This split between "retailer" and "distributor" has proved to be confusing to many Alberta consumers, many of whom have interpreted the change as meaning that Direct Energy now owns ATCO.