A Fusion Deal: Alfa Energy sold to Edison Energy

Alfa Energy, the international energy and sustainability consultancy, has been sold to Edison Energy (DBA in Europe as Altenex Energy) a leading global energy and sustainability advisory firm. The Fusion team was led by Paul Kelly, Director at Fusion. The terms of the deals were not disclosed.

The two entities are coming together to help the world’s largest and middle-market corporate, industrial and institutional clients set and meet robust sustainability commitments and navigate the choices and opportunities that are emerging from the global transition to a net-zero future.

Based in the UK and with a Pan-European presence, Alfa Energy has worked with some of the world’s largest organizations to procure and manage their energy as they seek ways to meet their energy, sustainability, and technology needs.

Alfa Energy has been a trusted Edison Energy partner for more than seven years, creating strong relationships among the organizations’ leaders and team members through their mutual engagement with clients.

Paul Kelly, Director at Fusion Corporate Partners said: I have known Damir and Elvin for many years and watched them grow their company to become one of the few truly international energy and sustainability consultancies. It has been a pleasure to work with them and their leadership team. I wish them every success as they continue to build a global business, but now with the combined experience and expertise of Alfa Energy and Edison Energy.

“With more global clients seeking ways to decarbonize their operations, the time is right for Edison Energy to expand its platform across the Atlantic, with service to 22 European countries,” said Oded J. Rhone, CEO of Edison Energy. “During this time of turmoil in the energy markets, customers’ needs are rapidly evolving. The combined capabilities of Edison and Alfa more fully position us to help our clients set and meet their energy and sustainability commitments in a timely and thorough manner.”

As Edison Energy and Alfa Energy become one global company, its combined experience and expertise, technological capabilities and local market intelligence will allow the advisory firm to help organizations achieve their strategic, financial, and energy and sustainability goals.

“Alfa Energy has made a significant service contribution to commercial and industrial clients in the UK and Europe,” said Damir Ahmovic, Alfa Energy CEO. “By joining forces with Edison Energy – which has been our long-term partner in the delivery of services to global accounts – that dream is now a reality. A sustainability agenda demands systemic decarbonization. The enhanced deliverables of the combined company will position us to help our clients navigate their way towards a better future.’’

“Decarbonization is a strategy that must be implemented at a global scale,” said Hannah Badrei, Ph.D., Vice President of Edison’s Energy Supply Advisory. “In highly volatile commodity markets, our global clients are seeking integrated energy risk management and procurement solutions that are sustainable and resilient. The integration of our companies will help our clients achieve these goals.”

USA, Irving, CA and UK, London

Other Fusion Energy & Sustainability Deals

OMERS Private Equity acquires Bionic from ECI Partners

OMERS Private Equity has acquired Bionic, a provider of essential energy, insurance, finance and connectivity services to UK SMEs from ECI Partners and its founders.

OMERS Private Equity has taken a majority stake in the Company, with the management team, led by Paul Galligan, CEO of Bionic, and ECI Partners and the founders investing alongside OMERS. OMERS Private Equity will provide resources and expertise to help drive the Company’s organic growth as well as further accelerate its strategic expansion through M&A.

Bionic made six acquisitions during ECI’s investment. ECI acquired Bionic in 2017 when it was still called Make it Cheaper.

ECI generated a return of 4.8x following their five-year partnership with Bionic. No other financial terms of the transaction were disclosed.

Founded in 2007, Bionic matches SME business owners with energy, insurance, connectivity, telecoms and commercial finance solutions from its platform of specially selected providers, suppliers and products. Leveraging a tech-enabled team and smart technology, the company offers end-to-end service – including comparison, switch management, customer service and renewals – that help business owners save time and money.

Jonathan Mussellwhite, Senior Managing Director and OMERS Head of European Private Equity, said: “As a leading technology-enabled services platform, Bionic’s high-quality digital-hybrid model, one that pairs smart technology with world class human service, is at the forefront of helping UK SMEs source their business essentials: energy, insurance, finance and connectivity. We are excited by the opportunity to bring OMERS track record of international and acquisitive growth to Bionic as we support Paul and the Bionic management team in the continued growth of the business.”

Paul Galligan, CEO of Bionic, said: “We are thrilled to partner with OMERS Private Equity, a deeply-experienced global investor, and to leverage the team’s expertise to further accelerate Bionic’s growth. From our very first meeting with OMERS it was clear there was a strong cultural alignment and passion for the customers we serve. We were well aware of OMERS long term commitment to its portfolio companies, and as an investor that is well-regarded for its steady buy and build approach, we look forward to the team’s support in achieving our goals for continued strategic expansion through M&A.”

James Frankish, Managing Director, OMERS Private Equity Europe, said: “Bionic’s strong track record of acting as a strategic partner to the entrepreneurs active in the UK’s SME sector speaks for itself. As active investors and managers, we have been impressed by the Company’s ability to continually broaden its portfolio of services, as well as its commitment to further enhancing its already-robust customer service standards. We are eager to get to work with this high-growth business and to leverage OMERS evergreen capital and experience with strategic acquisitions to help Bionic achieve its goal of becoming the pre-eminent European market leader serving the needs of SMEs.”

UK, London

A Fusion deal: Powerful Allies sold to Zenergi

Powerful Allies Limited, a leading provider of 100% renewable electricity contracts for schools and businesses, has been sold to Zenergi, the energy and sustainability services provider backed by ECI Partners. The Fusion team was led by Paul Kelly, Director at Fusion. The terms of the deals were not disclosed.

Powerful Allies was founded nearly 10 years ago by James Robson, who wanted to “make things better” and be a truly trusted partner for clients needing energy supply support.

Powerful Allies currently supports a number of customers in different sectors, including over 130 leading independent schools and 170 single and multi-site Academies across the UK, providing services including energy cost and carbon emission reduction strategies, energy consumption monitoring and reporting, and LED and Solar PV solutions.

James Robson, founder of Powerful Allies, said, “I founded Powerful Allies ten years ago to give customers more transparency, clarity and honesty around their energy contracts. I am delighted that as part of Zenergi we will be able to reach more customers and support the movement towards a greener future. I look forward to working with Graham and the Zenergi team to deliver on that ambition”.

Paul Kelly, Director at Fusion Corporate Partners said: “It has been a pleasure working with James. He has a great team at Powerful Allies and has achieved exceptional success, and with their overlapping customer base, the fit with Zenergi is excellent. I wish them every success.

The acquisition is the second acquisition undertaken following ECI’s investment in Zenergi in February 2022. In March the business acquired DB Group, enabling Zenergi to grow its regional presence and support customers in Scotland.

Graham Cooke, CEO of Zenergi, said, “As we all move to a greener future, Powerful Allies is a natural fit for the Zenergi offering – the firm’s ethos, focus on renewables and clear strength in customer service match our core values as an organisation. The firm’s own Open Competition Charter is a standout example of how they really care for and empower their clients. We are all looking forward to welcoming James and the team and seeing what we can achieve together”.

Powerful Allies will continue to trade under its own brand as part of the Zenergi group for the immediate future.

UK, Southampton & UK, Bishops Cannings, Devizes

A Fusion deal: Worldwide Legal Research sold to Law Business Research

Worldwide Legal Research, trading as LegalMonitor, a research company headquartered in London, has been sold to Law Business Research Ltd, a portfolio company of Levine Leichtman Capital Partners VI, LP (LLCP). Fusion Corporate Partners acted as corporate advisor for Worldwide Legal Research. The Fusion team was led by Paul Slight, Director at Fusion. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Law Business Research (LBR) is a technology-enabled information services business powering the global legal industry with intelligence, analytics and performance data.  LegalMonitor is the most accurate database of over 260,000 lawyers, incorporating artificial intelligence, advanced search and visual analytics.

David Kekwick, Executive Director of LegalMonitor, noted, “The combination of our data platform and LBR is an exciting one. LBR brings access to the operational tools and experience we need to scale plus significant marketplace access. We will be able to accelerate investment in our platform and ensure ongoing product evolution.”

Paul Slight commented, “This is second time round for David Kekwick and Fusion having previously worked on the sale of David’s first business to Wilmington circa 10 years ago. The fit with Law Business Research in this instance is clear and will only enhance Legal Monitor’s market leading products for legal recruiters globally.”

Nick Brailey, CEO of Law Business Research, said, “Law Business Research and LegalMonitor both provide data-driven, technology-enabled, subscription platforms that naturally complement each other. LegalMonitor brings a significant database, insight into the global legal market and additional technology capabilities. Our combined research will map the known universe of lawyers and tie together datasets to fulfil more use cases. This will benefit our entire portfolio of client solutions and represents a continuation of our strategy of delivering technology-enabled content by adding a highly relevant data asset to our business. I’d like to take this opportunity to welcome the Legal Monitor team to LBR and I look forward to seeing what we can achieve together”.

UK, London

ECI Partners acquire Zenergi from August Equity

Mid-market private equity firm ECI Partners has acquired Zenergi, an energy procurement and sustainability services provider, from August Equity. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Zenergi supports organisations across the UK with their energy renewals, legislation and carbon reporting, identifying ways they can reduce their energy use, and leading energy efficiency and renewable projects. Founded in 2003, the company focuses on the education, healthcare and social housing sectors. August Equity invested in Zenergi in 2017, and since 2018 the company has completed five acquisitions.

Richard Chapman, Partner at ECI, said, “Zenergi does a fantastic job supporting institutions with increasingly complex energy needs, and we look forward to working with Graham (Cooke) and the management team to deliver both organic growth and further M&A in this space. In the current energy market climate and wider environmental considerations, we expect customers to increasingly look to market experts such as Zenergi to help them find solutions. We’re delighted to partner with the team for the next stage of their journey.”

According to their website, ECI’s investment represents an exit for August Equity generating a return of 5.3x.

Mike Biddulph, Partner at August Equity said: “It has been an absolute privilege to partner with Graham Cooke and the management team over the last four years. Zenergi is another great example of us building scale with service driven businesses in secular growth markets and working with exceptional entrepreneurs, to create quality businesses with high strategic value.”

UK, London

Informa to divest Pharma Intelligence for £1.9bn

Informa, the international B2B markets, knowledge services and business intelligence group has agreed to divest Pharma Intelligence, the largest business within its Informa Intelligence division, to Warburg Pincus for £1.9bn, while separately commencing a share buyback.

Pharma Intelligence is a provider of specialist intelligence and data for Clinical Trials, Drug Development and Regulatory Compliance. In 2020, this business accounted for approximately 40% of Informa Intelligence reported divisional revenues of £305m and c.50% of reported divisional adjusted operating profit of £103m.

The last reported Profit Before Tax of Pharma Intelligence was £55.3m for the year ended 31 December 2020 and the last statement of Gross Assets was £479.9m, as at 30 June 2021.

The agreement with Warburg Pincus, values Pharma Intelligence at £1.9bn, equating to an EV/EBITDA multiple based on 2020 reported figures or 2021 expected outcomes.

Under the agreement, 85% of equity value will be realised immediately, equating to c.£1.7bn in cash, pre-tax, with Informa retaining a c.15% shareholding in the business going forward. This c.15% equity interest ranks pari passu with Warburg Pincus’ equity and includes customary rights in the event of a sale of the business.

The sale is expected to complete by early June subject to relevant regulatory clearances.

Adarsh Sarma, Co-Head of Europe, Warburg Pincus LLC said:

“We are delighted to be the partner of choice for Informa and to have the opportunity to acquire Pharma Intelligence with its operating management team. Pharma Intelligence plays a critical role in supporting and maintaining the ecosystem that surrounds clinical trials, drug development and regulatory compliance, and we intend to invest and significantly grow the business and its product offerings. We are also pleased to be working again with Jay Nadler, who we worked with at MLM Information Services and Interactive Data Corp and he was previously CEO of Clarivate. He will also be joining the Board of the newly separated company.”

Stephen A. Carter, Group Chief Executive, Informa PLC, commented:

“We received significant interest in the Pharma Intelligence business. We are delighted to partner with Warburg Pincus and share their view on its future growth potential, hence, we welcomed an agreement that represented value today and growth and value tomorrow.”

Share Buyback Programme

The group has previously announced its intention to return a proportion of the proceeds from the divestment of Informa Intelligence to shareholders. Following the sale agreement for the Pharma Intelligence business, Informa has entered into an arrangement with its broker, Merrill Lynch International (BofA Securities), to purchase on its behalf and within certain pre-set parameters, ordinary shares of 0.1 pence each in the Company, with the intention to cancel those shares purchased.

The programme will commence with immediate effect and run through to the AGM in June, including through the Company’s close period (30 days from 13 February to 14 March 2022). The maximum amount allocated to the initial tranche of the buyback programme will be £100m. The share buyback programme will take place in accordance with the Company’s current approved buyback authorities and be effected in accordance with Chapter 12 of the FCA’s Listing Rules. The maximum number of ordinary shares that may be repurchased under those authorities is 150,311,000.

Trading Update

Informa will report its 2021 Full Year Results on 15 March 2022. Ahead of this, Group has reported that it expects to report trading in 2021 in line with guidance of £1.8bn± Group Revenue and £375m± of Adjusted Operating Profit. Free cash flow is expected to be ahead of previous guidance of £325m+.

UK, London

Pendo acquires product management community Mind the Product

Software business Pendo has acquired Mind the Product, a product management community which provides content, training and conferences that serve a global audience of more than 300,000 product managers, designers and developers. 

“This is a tremendous day for our community of product managers around the world,” said James Mayes, CEO and co-founder of Mind the Product. “By joining Pendo, we can execute on today’s mission and think even bigger about how we will support, educate and train product teams in the future.”

Mind the Product began as a passion project for its founders in 2010. As technology startups emerged around London, with product managers playing a leading role in those companies, the team hosted its first meetup, dubbed ProductTank, in the back of a local pub. Word spread as technology ecosystems emerged in other cities too, and the group responded by partnering with local organizers to host ProductTanks around the globe. Now with a full-time team of nearly 20, all of whom will join Pendo, the London-based company provides a series of global conferences, custom product training and workshops, a popular blog and newsletter, and a subscription offering with more than 3,000 members. It also supports ProductTank meetups in more than 200 global cities and oversees the largest Slack community for product people. 

Pendo intends to keep the Mind the Product team in place to manage its conferences, content, events, and meetups, and to continue its vendor-neutral workshops and training. The acquisition supports Pendo’s goal to provide the most complete platform for product-led companies — Pendo’s software products paired with content, training and community enable companies to become product led. 

“Pendo has always made it part of our mission to elevate the craft of product management and to help product managers be better at what they do,” said Todd Olson, CEO and co-founder of Pendo. “We’re really excited to join forces with some of our earliest influencers, and offer substantially more education and resources to the global product management community for years to come.” 

Mind the Product is Pendo’s third international acquisition in five years. In 2017, Pendo acquired Insert, a mobile app engagement solution based in Israel, and in 2019, it acquired Receptive Software Limited, a UK-based product demand intelligence platform. Pendo has scaled its international operations to more than 160 people, adding nearly 100 employees in the United Kingdom, Israel, Japan and Australia in 2021. Those teams support more than 300 customers in EMEA regions and 60 customers across Asia. Mind the Product adds to the company’s global footprint both through headcount and reach. 

USA, Raleigh, NC and UK, London

IBM acquires environmental performance management company Envizi

IBM has acquired Envizi, a data and analytics software provider for environmental performance management. The acquisition closed on January 11, 2022. Financial details were not disclosed.

Companies are under mounting pressure from regulators, investors, and consumers to progress toward more sustainable and socially responsible business operations – and to demonstrate these measures in a robust and verifiable way. In fact, corporate social responsibility and environmental sustainability risks tied as the third highest concerns for organizations, as ranked by large corporations in a 2021 Forrester report. However, the various types of data companies need to understand and report on sustainability initiatives remains highly fragmented and difficult for all relevant parties to access.

Envizi’s software automates the collection and consolidation of more than 500 data types and supports major sustainability reporting frameworks. Its user-friendly and easily customised dashboards enable companies to analyse, manage and report on environmental goals, identify efficiency opportunities and assess sustainability risk. Envizi’s solutions help streamline the management of these tasks as part of broader Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) reporting initiatives, while also providing users with valuable sustainability insights to inform business strategy.

Kareem Yusuf, PhD, General Manager, IBM AI Applications, said, “To drive real progress toward sustainability, companies need the ability to transform data into predictive insights that help them make more intelligent, actionable decisions every day. Envizi’s software provides companies with a single source of truth for analyzing and understanding emissions data across the full landscape of their business operations and dramatically accelerates IBM’s growing arsenal of AI technologies for helping businesses create more sustainable operations and supply chains.”

Available as a SaaS solution and running in multi-cloud environments, Envizi serves leading brands such as Microsoft, Qantas, CBRE, Uber, abrdn and Celestica, and its software can be applied to activities across a variety of industries.

USA, Armonk, NY & Australia, Eveleigh NSW

Schneider Electric acquires renewable energy platform Zeigo

Schneider Electric has acquired start-up climate-tech platform Zeigo. The acquisition will complement Schneider Electric’s portfolio of clean energy services and solutions and advance the company’s digital energy transformation ambitions. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Steve Wilhite, SVP for Schneider Electric’s Sustainable Business Division, said, “As the world’s largest advisor to corporations on renewable energy procurement, we know that speed and complexity are two of the barriers that keep some corporations out of the PPA market. By adding the Zeigo technology and team to our existing portfolio of services and solutions, we will be able to provide even greater value to our clients worldwide.”

Organisations face increasing pressure to decarbonise as climate risks and global ambitions for an equitable energy transition both accelerate. For the past 10 years, one of the most common and effective means for companies to begin to decarbonise has been utility-scale renewable energy power purchase agreements (PPAs). To date, organisations have voluntarily purchased more than 77 gigawatts of wind, solar, and geothermal power via PPA.

The demand for PPAs is expected to grow as net-zero ambitions accelerate globally. More than 2,000 companies have already joined the Science-based Targets Initiative with the intention of mapping their decarbonisation aspirations to a 1.5 degree Celsius global warming threshold. A further 300+ corporations have joined the Climate Group’s RE100, committing to achieve 100% renewable energy in their operations. Taken in total, these commitments have led Bloomberg New Energy Finance to predict a shortfall in corporate renewable energy of 269 terawatt-hours by 2030.

Renewable energy procurement is time-consuming and complicated, requiring significant expert evaluation of projects and risks alongside the satisfaction of stakeholders up to and including corporate boards. By combining Zeigo’s AI capabilities with its existing advisory services, Schneider Electric will deploy enhanced collaborative intelligence in the energy and environmental commodity procurement process.

France, Rueil-Malmaison & USA, Andover, MA & UK, London

RX acquires 3rd Street Group, organisers of Big Data LDN

RX (formerly Reed Exhibitions) has acquired 3rd Street Group Ltd, the owners and organisers of Big Data LDN.

Big Data LDN is one of the UK’s largest data and analytics conferences and exhibitions, hosting leading data, analytics experts and suppliers. The event brings together the data and analytics community in a unique exhibition format for the sector, including a superior, end user-led conference programme. The event takes place in the autumn at Olympia.

Big Data LDN will join the RX portfolio in the UK, with founder Bill Hammond remaining as its event director. 

Announcing the acquisition, Hugh Jones, RX CEO, said: “Despite the impact that the pandemic has had on the events industry, we continue our longstanding tradition of acquiring key events in growth sectors and markets. Big Data LDN is a perfect fit for our portfolio, and I am delighted that Bill and his team will be joining RX to develop Big Data LDN even further. Their professionalism, knowledge and dedication are astonishing, and I’m excited to work with them to grow this event in the coming years.” 

Bill Hammond, founder of 3rd Street Group Ltd, said: “The global big data and business analytics sector continues to grow in the UK. Joining RX will enable us to build the event exponentially with support from RX’s suite of technology platforms, global network and operations expertise. A key issue within big data remains security and privacy and I look forward to working with RX UK’s existing Infosecurity brand to deliver even more value to our customers across the data and analytics sector. It’s going to be an exciting growth period for us and we can’t wait to get started.”

UK, London

Related articles: