YouGov acquires Galaxy Research in Australia

YouGovYouGov plc, the market research and data analytics group, has acquired Galaxy Research Pty Ltd, a market research agency in Australia. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Galaxy, based in Sydney, has a market research offering comparable to YouGov’s Data Services offering. The agency known in the Australian market for opinion polling and as the administrator of the local political opinion polling brand, Newspoll.

YouGov’s existing Australian business, established two years ago, operates in keeping with YouGov’s core model of using data collected from its proprietary panel of members to provide syndicated data products and services. The combined business will be in a position to expand its data products and services offering.

GalaxyDavid Briggs, the founder and Managing Director of Galaxy, will lead the combined business and team of 11 employees in Australia, which will initially operate under the brand YouGov Galaxy.

Stephan Shakespeare, CEO of YouGov, commented: “With its reputation for accuracy and an excellent roster of corporate market research clients, Galaxy was an obvious fit for the YouGov Group. This acquisition increases our presence in Australia which is a significant market and one which is strategically important to our international clients.”

UK, London & Australia, Sydney

ECI Partners invests in Make It Cheaper

Private equity firm ECI Partners has acquired Make It Cheaper, a company that helps SME business customers compare and change their service providers, with a specific focus on the energy, telecoms and insurance sectors. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Make it cheaperMake It Cheaper, which has appeared three times in the Sunday Times Fast Track 100, posted turnover of £12.6 million last year and generated an operating profit of £1.62 million. The business was founded by CEO Jonathan Elliott in 2007 and now employs 175 staff.

Richard Chapman, head of business services at ECI commented, “Make It Cheaper’s motivated and experienced executive team have built a fantastic company that helps businesses save time and money. We are delighted to partner with Jonathan and the team, to help the Company scale up its customer acquisition and multi-product platform, and realise its potential for further growth.”

UK, London

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LDC back MBO of energy software supplier ENSEK

ensek-news-05102017Private equity investor LDC has backed the management buyout of ENSEK, a software supplier to UK energy providers. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Headquartered in Nottingham, UK, ENSEK uses its software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform to provide existing energy suppliers with its revenue assurance and gross margin accounting product. It also provides new market entrants with the end-to-end software solution required to enter and operate in the UK energy sector.

Led by CEO Jon Slade, the business has grown rapidly since its launch in 2010. This has led to a diverse customer base, revenues that are currently growing at 100%+ year-on-year and an employee base of 65 people.

Jon Slade, CEO at ENSEK, said: “The energy sector is facing a period of unprecedented change, driven largely by the number of smaller suppliers entering the market. We want to build on our work of providing market-leading software services to energy suppliers, large and small, across the UK and continue to help them use data to become more efficient and competitive within the growing market.

“Partnering with LDC will give us both the financial firepower and strategic expertise required to take the business to the next level, and we’re looking forward to working closely with the team as we grow the business together.”

The deal was led by investment directors John Green and David Bains at LDC in Nottingham, and both will join the board as non-executive directors.

Ian Peters has been appointed as non-executive chairman with Eddie Minshull joining as non-executive director. Ian was formerly a member of Centrica’s Executive Committee and held the MD and COO roles during his 12 years with the business. Eddie has more than 30 years’ experience supporting the growth of technology businesses such as broadband provider, Gigaclear, as well as network performance specialist Juniper Networks. Eddie is currently also Chairman of energy technology provider Onzo.

UK, Nottingham

World Fuel Services Europe acquires Orchard Energy from Lakehouse

WFSWorld Fuel Services Europe has acquired energy procurement business Orchard Energy from Lakehouse plc. World Fuel Services paid £12.4 million in cash.   

Orchard provides consultancy advice to corporate clients in relation to managing their energy costs, particularly energy procurement and usage.  In addition, Orchard provides energy management services to commercial and industrial customers, including brokering supply with utilities firms, managing contracts and advising on energy consumption. The business employs 72 staff and is based in Elland, West Yorkshire, with offices in Glasgow, Bristol, Newcastle and Northampton.  

In the financial year ended 30 September 2016, Orchard had turnover of £6.3 million and profit before tax of £2.5 million.   

World Fuel Services recently launched the Kinect Energy Group, built from U.S. Energy, KTM, and Beach Front Energy in the United States and Bergen Energi and Utilities Exchange in Europe. Orchard will become part of the Kinect Energy Group.

USA, Miami, FL & UK, West Yorkshire

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Next Fifteen Communications Group acquires Charterhouse Research

Next 15Next 15 Communications Group plc, the digital communications group, has acquired Charterhouse Research Limited through its data and insights subsidiary, MIG Global Limited. Charterhouse is a specialist financial market research consultancy.

Charterhouse ResearchCharterhouse was founded in 2004 by four market researchers, Julie Irwin, Mark Dennis, Sara McFadzean and Mervyn Flack. Julie will continue to run the business as Managing Director with Mark and Sara continuing in their position as Directors; Mervyn is relinquishing his role as Chairman.

Next 15 are paying an initial consideration of £2.75 million. That is £1.74 million for the business and £1.01 million for the net assets. £2.58 million is being paid in cash with the balance through the issue of 41,598 new ordinary shares.

Further cash payments may become payable based on the profits of Charterhouse for the years ending 31 January 2019 and 31 January 2020. .

For the year ended 31 August 2016, Charterhouse reported turnover of £2.69 million, adjusted profit before tax of £0.59 million and net assets of £0.78 million.

Tim Dyson, CEO of Next 15, commented: “Next 15 is committed to building a deep data and insight capability at its core. Charterhouse is an important step in that strategy, significantly enhancing our financial services offering. The combination of MIG’s technology driven consultancy and data offering with Charterhouse, a leading specialist in financial market research, will help drive deeper and more actionable insights to the financial services industry.”

Application has been made to the London Stock Exchange for the new ordinary shares to be admitted to AIM and it is expected that admission will take place on 29 September 2017. Following the issue and allotment of the new ordinary shares, the Company will have 75,516,196 ordinary shares in issue. No ordinary shares are held in treasury.

UK, London

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TClarke plc acquires Eton Associates

tclarkeTClarke plc, a building services group, has acquired Eton Associates Limited a London based privately owned control systems specialist offering a variety of Building Management Systems.

ETON specialises in installing and maintaining sophisticated building controls systems on complex office buildings.  Recent projects ETON has been involved with include, 20 Fenchurch Street, Chiswick Park, One Canada Square, Bloomberg London, Lacon House and Angel Court.

TClarke has paid an initial cash consideration of £1.5 million, and a further £0.5 million will be released following agreement of the final completion accounts.  A further £0.6 million will be payable subject to earnings targets being met in the two years to 4th August 2019.

For the year ended 31 May 2016 (the latest financial period for which audited results are available), ETON reported revenues of £9.5 million and a pre-tax profit of £0.3 million.  As at 31 May 2016 it had gross assets of £3.2 million and net assets of £0.7 million.

ETON employs around 80 people and is currently based in London Docklands with a manufacturing plant in Essex.  The intention is to co-locate the operations of ETON at TCLarke’s London Head Office at Moorgate and at their prefabrication facility at Stansted.

Mark Lawrence, CEO of TClarke commented, “We welcome the ETON team to TClarke and I am confident that the business will reach new potential as part of a larger group enabling them to build upon the scale and number of projects undertaken.  Increasingly, our clients are demanding ever more sophisticated systems to control their buildings.  With this acquisition we are able to deliver a joined up ability to meet these demands.

Jamie Ward and Graham Millward were the two principal directors and owners of the business. Ward will remain with the business for a minimum of two years and Millward will remain available as a consultant to the business for a two-year period. 

UK, London

A Fusion DEAL: TEAM (Energy Auditing Agency Limited) sold to EDW Technology

TEAM EDW-TechnologyTEAM (Energy Auditing Agency Limited) has been sold to EDW Technology Holdings Limited. Fusion Corporate Partners acted as corporate advisor for TEAM. The Fusion team was led by Paul Kelly, Director at Fusion. The terms of the deals were not disclosed.

TEAM specialises in energy management – monitoring and targeting software, EDI software solutions, tenant billing software, outsourced energy management services and energy consultancy.

Founded in 1985 by Paul Martin, TEAM has over 500 Commerce, Industry and Government customers in the UK and worldwide.

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Paul Kelly

Speaking about the sale, Fusion’s Paul Kelly said, “It was a pleasure to represent Paul Martin and Peter Howell; and to work with their management team. They are a highly professional group with great industry expertise. Software is at the heart of the business and I am sure that with EDW’s support, TEAM’s innovative and highly scalable technology platform will unlock new opportunities in the UK and internationally. I wish them every success”.

EDW Technology has an extensive history of developing, implementing and supporting best-in-class retail electricity supply software solutions. With proven systems to support B2B electricity suppliers in the GB market EDW Technology has implemented solutions for energy retail start-ups as well as system replacements for more mature suppliers.

Simon-Miles-CEOSimon Miles, EDW Technology CEO said “We are incredibly excited about working with TEAM to grow our combined market presence and strengthen our product and service offering within the industrial and commercial utility supply and large energy consumer sector”.

TEAM founder Paul Martin, who will take up the position of non-executive director on the TEAM board said “We have built a leadership position in the UK market by consistently innovating, using our deep industry expertise to support our customers and evolve with the market. Being located in Milton Keynes, sharing the same software technologies and energy expertise makes EDW Technology a natural partner to continue the journey.”

Tim Holman, Head of Operations, Jon Lindop, Head of Development, and all other Managers will continue in their current roles.

UK, Milton Keynes

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