RPS Group acquires Norwegian consultancy Metier for around £22.3M

RPSlogoRPS Group plc has acquired Metier Holding AS, a Norwegian based consultancy providing project management and training services, for a maximum consideration of NOK 267million (£22.3 million).

Metier operates across Norway from its headquarters in Oslo. The company, which employs approximately 160 staff, was founded in 1976 and works primarily on projects associated with delivering public and private sector infrastructure.

Metier trades within similar markets to OEC, the Norwegian project management consultancy acquired by RPS in October 2013, with less focus on the oil and gas sector. It has also developed an internet based project management training capability. The activities of the two businesses will be integrated. 

52% of the Metier shares are held by external investors.  The remaining 48% is held by 64 Metier staff, who are remaining with the business.

In the year to 31 December 2014, Metier had revenues of NOK390 million (£32.6 million), and profit before tax of NOK35.3 million (£3.0 million), after adjustment for non-recurring items. Net assets at 31 December 2014 were NOK45.1 million (£3.8 million). Gross assets at 31 December 2014 were NOK159.1 million (£13.3 million).

RPS is acquiring the entire share capital of Metier for a maximum total consideration of NOK267 million (£22.3 million), all payable in cash. Consideration paid to the vendors at completion was NOK166.8 million (£14.0 million). Subject to certain operational conditions being met, two further sums of NOK49.2 million (£4.1 million) and NOK50.6 million (£4.2 million) will be paid to the vendors on the first and second anniversaries of the transaction respectively.

UK, Abingdon, Oxfordshire & Norway, Oslo

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Kier Group to acquire Mouchel for £265M

kier-logoKier, the FTSE 250 property, residential, construction and services group, has announced that it has entered a conditional agreement to buy French repairs and maintenance business Mouchel.

Mouchel provides advisory, design, project delivery and managed services to the highways and transportation, local government, property, emergency services, health, education and utilities markets in the United Kingdom, the Middle East and Australia.

Kier has agreed to acquire Mouchel for £265 million in cash, to be financed by a £340 million fully underwritten rights issue.

Mouchel reported group revenue (including share of JVs) of £616.6 million and underlying operating profit of £27.7 million for the year ended 30 September 2014. Revenues for the three months ended 31 December 2014 increased by 38 per cent. compared to the same period in the previous year. The Acquisition is anticipated to deliver pre-tax cost synergies of approximately £10 million in the financial year ending 30 June 2017, with integration costs of the Acquisition expected to be approximately £17 million.

The Acquisition creates an Enlarged Group with a pro forma combined order book of £9.3 billion (as at 31 March 2015), comprising Kier’s order book of £6.5 billion and Mouchel’s order book of £2.8 billion.

Haydn Mursell, Chief Executive of Kier, said: “Over the last three years, Mouchel has been transformed into a strong business with market leading positions. The combination of Kier and Mouchel, particularly in the provision of UK highways maintenance services, creates a leader in a growing marketplace. The Acquisition is consistent with and accelerates the delivery of our Vision 2020 strategy and will provide compelling value to shareholders.”

UK, Bedfordshire

BroadbandTV acquires YoBoHo

BBTV_Logo_black_writingMedia and technology business BroadbandTV (BBTV) has acquired kids content producer and publisher YoBoHo. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

YoBoHoYoBoHo owns and operates HooplaKidz, one of the largest YouTube Kids and Family networks, as well as 27 other channels. The company has a video library of over 8,000 videos mainly produced by the company. The vast majority of its content is original Intellectual Property. All 55 YoBoHo employees will join BBTV. RTL Group, the European entertainment network, provided funding for BroadbandTV’s acquisition of YoBoHo.

“We’re very pleased to conclude the acquisition of a top player in the kids space at a time when the kids content vertical is experiencing burgeoning growth,” said Shahrzad Rafati, BroadbandTV Founder and CEO. “BroadbandTV is also making a multi-million dollar investment in YoBoHo to further expand its library of original content, broaden its international footprint, and further diversify its revenue streams.”

Canada, Vancouver, British Colombia

IRI acquires Chinese market research organisation Datasea

IRI_logoInformation Resources, Inc. (IRI) has acquired Datasea, a Chinese analytic services and market research company with deep knowledge and expertise in the retail and consumer packaged goods industries.

“We are building a Chinese company powered by the latest global insights, analytics and technology and bringing the latest tools and technology to this market,” said Andrew Appel, president and chief executive officer, IRI. The agreement represents the most recent execution of IRI’s strategic commitment to dramatically increase our geographic footprint to meet the global market research needs of our clients. It also complements other facets of IRI’s strategic direction, including expanding our data assets and leveraging this data with advanced analytics, plus consumer and shopper marketing services that enable our clients to achieve sustained levels of more rapid growth. We look forward to integrating IRI and Datasea’s strengths to bring enhanced offerings to our clients.”

In 2013, IRI completed the acquisition of Aztec, a provider of market measurement and related services in Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, New Zealand, South Africa, Sweden and the U.K. It also acquired FreshLook Marketing, which offers data and consulting services to the fresh food industry, in 2013.

Founded in 1996, Datasea clients include consumer packaged goods manufacturers and retailers, as well as companies in related industries, such as quick service restaurants and cosmetics. It maintains offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Jinan, supported by a nationwide service network.

USA, Chicago, IL & China, Beijing

Utilitywise acquires t-mac Technologies for an initial £10M

utilitywiseUtilitywise PLC, an independent utility cost management consultancy, has acquired t-mac Technologies Ltd for an initial consideration of £10 million.

t-macThrough its own proprietary technology and software, t-mac provides business energy management systems (BeMS) which enable clients to monitor and reduce their utility consumption, make savings and helping them comply with Government legislation. Founded in 2004 and based in Chesterfield with 28 employees, t-mac services both SME and I&C (industrial and commercial) customers in the retail, education, manufacturing, transport, and leisure sectors. t-mac has significant market experience and a strong reputation across market segments where Utilitywise is already successful, and where demand for energy management solutions is buoyant.

The initial consideration payable is GBP £10m, £6.25m in cash and  1,782,319 new ordinary shares in Utilitywise at an issue price of 210.4p per new ordinary share, being the average closing mid-market price of a Utilitywise share in the 30 trading days to 17 April 2015. The Initial Consideration Shares are subject to a 24 month lock up, save that after 12 months up to 50% of the Initial Consideration Shares can be sold.

Up to a further GBP £12 million will become payable once earn out accounts have been finalised, in cash (70%) and new Utilitywise shares based upon six times EBITDA above a hurdle for the 12 month periods ending on the first and second anniversary of completion.  For the year to 31 March 2015 t-mac reported revenue of GBP £3.6m and EBITDA of GBP £0.3m.

The initial cash consideration is being funded by a new £25 million revolving credit facility with Royal Bank of Scotland plc of which £13 million will be immediately drawn to fund the Initial Cash Consideration and to refinance the Group’s existing facilities of £6 million.

t-mac is run by Lisa Gingell and Jonathan Wilkinson, who are taking a material proportion of their consideration in Utilitywise equity.

Utilitywise CEO, Geoff Thompson commented: “The market for BeMS is growing and modern cloud-based Software as a Service (SaaS) platforms, such as t-mac, provide significant cost advantages over traditional solutions which require intensive capital investment and offer long term ROIs.

“We know that our customers are increasingly looking for rapid impact, cost-effective services that provide them with more control over their electricity, gas and water usage, to help drive their business efficiency agenda as well as mitigate against future price volatility. This acquisition continues to expand our broad range of services that address the breadth of our customers’ energy needs.

“The acquisition of t-mac Technologies will play a major role in helping us to deliver significant added-value services and develop closer, more profitable relationships with existing customers, as well as supporting our new customer acquisition strategy”.

UK, North Tyneside & Chesterfield, Derbyshire

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Utilitywise plc – interim results for the six months ended 31 January 2015

utilitywiseUtilitywise PLC, an independent utility cost management consultancy, has announced its financial results for the six months ended 31 January 2015.

Financial Highlights

  • Revenue increased 42% to £29.9m (H1 2014: £21.0m)
  • Adjusted EBITDA increased 42% to £7.7m (H1 2014: £5.4m)
  • Adjusted Pre-tax profit increase of 49% to £7.3m ( H1 2014: £4.9m)
  • Adjusted fully diluted EPS increased 41% to 7.2p (H1 2014: 5.1p)
  • Proposed interim dividend increased 55% to 1.7p (H1 2014: 1.1p)
  • Net cash of £1.6m (H1 2014: (£0.1m))

Corporate Highlights

  • Successful move to new corporate headquarters
  • Energy consultants increased 29% to 449 (H1 2014: 347)
  • Total group headcount up 16% to 884 (H1 2014: 761)
  • New initiatives such as ESOS and water de-regulation in Scotland resourced to drive new revenue opportunities

Post period highlights

  • Energy consultants increased to 549 (22% increase post period end)
  • Total group headcount up 14% to 1,011
  • Secured revenue as at 31 March 2015 at £26m
  • Group customer numbers at 23,109 at 31 March 2015
  • Acquisition of t-mac Technologies Ltd

 Geoff Thompson, Chief Executive of Utilitywise, commented:

“The Group has continued to make progress with impressive growth in both revenue and EBITDA. During the period, we both extended contracts for existing customers and continued to secure new customers, providing further validation of the strength of our proposition and the important differentiation we have achieved through the on-going development of our energy management products and services.

“The move to our new Head Office was completed on schedule and on budget in November 2014, enabling us to accelerate the recruitment of additional staff in order to drive future growth and the progress with this is in line with our plans. New customer acquisition remains an important priority and, in line with this, we are pleased to report that March 2015 represented the highest monthly customer acquisition performance for the Group in its history.

“A significant market opportunity exists for continued profitable growth and we look forward to a second half of continued positive momentum.”

Access the full statement at the London Stock Exchange website here

UK, North Tyneside

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IHS acquires RootMetrics

ihs_logo_mpIHS Inc. has acquired mobile network analytics company RootMetrics. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

RootMetrics offers highly detailed network analytics on a subscription basis to mobile operators and infrastructure providers in the U.S. and U.K. The company will remain headquartered in Bellevue, Washington, and will continue to operate with the RootMetrics brand name. The company employs rm-logo170 colleagues based mostly in the U.S., with a growing presence in the U.K.

USA, Englewood, CO & Bellevue, WA

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