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.

paul-kelly_f_1_120_1Speaking 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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A Fusion Deal: Carbon Clear sold to EcoAct

carbon clear ecoactCarbon Clear, a major player in the UK environmental sustainability marketplace, has been sold to EcoAct Group, the climate expert and climate finance project developer headquartered in Paris. Fusion Corporate Partners acted as corporate advisor for Carbon Clear. The Fusion team was led by Paul Kelly, Director at Fusion. The terms of the deals were not disclosed.

The joining of the two companies will help businesses better manage their approach to climate change and sustainability by creating an international entity with expanded operations in Europe, North America and Africa.

EcoAct works with international clients to meet the demands of the Paris Climate Change Agreement, offering solutions to companies’ sustainability challenges. With the acquisition of Carbon Clear, new service offerings will be available across the global sustainability market including: assessing climate change risks and opportunities; strategic planning and target setting; managing and reducing energy and carbon emissions and; working with climate finance projects.

Combining forces is a natural fit for both EcoAct and Carbon Clear due to their shared corporate values. Both companies were formed over a decade ago to address dangerous climate change and both teams remain dedicated to this goal for the Group going forward.

Mark Chadwick, Chief Executive of Carbon Clear commented:  “Our new Group has the technical expertise, commercial knowledge and client-friendly approach that we believe is unparalleled in the market. The combined strengths of EcoAct and Carbon Clear mean we are a leading sustainability consultancy that has the resources and capabilities to do more for our clients through our new service offerings and broader geographic reach. Our committed and talented staff will use their complementary skills to continue to do the very best work from our offices around the globe.”

paul-kelly_f_1_120_1Paul Kelly, Director at Fusion Corporate Partners said: “It has been a pleasure working with Mark and the other shareholders at Carbon Clear. They are a great team and the fit with EcoAct is excellent. The combining of the two businesses creates a leading sustainability consultancy with a broader geographic reach. I wish them every success”

The Group will now be managed at an Executive Committee Level by: Thierry Fornas and Gérald Maradan, the founders of EcoAct; Mark Chadwick, the founder of Carbon Clear, and Sylvianne Villaudière, founder of CSR consultancy Alliantis, a company that joined the EcoAct Group in February 2017.

France, Paris & UK, London

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Inspired Energy acquires Horizon Energy Group in Ireland

Inspired Energy is to acquire Horizon Energy Group Limited, an energy procurement consultancy with 34 employees, based in Cork, Ireland with customers including large Corporates, Public Sector bodies and SMEs. The acquisition will be part funded by a £9 million share placing.

Inspired will pay an initial Consideration of €9.0 million to acquire 90% of Horizon. Inspired has the option to acquire the outstanding balance of 10% for a further €1.0 million. Further deferred payments of up to €5.0 million are subject to achievement of financial performance targets for the periods ending 31 December 2017 and 31 December 2018.

Horizon’s management team, including Colin Barry, founder and MD of Horizon, will remain with the Group.

Commenting on the proposed acquisition, Janet Thornton, Chief Executive of Inspired, said: “Inspired continues to look to deliver on its growth strategy and Horizon provides an opportunity to drive growth from Inspired’s platform as it is an established business in a relatively untapped market. It will bring high earnings visibility, supported by a strong procurement corporate order book, and Horizon’s sales team will benefit from the cross-selling opportunities with access to Inspired’s broader capabilities, ultimately benefitting clients.”

“Ireland’s energy procurement sector is relatively underdeveloped compared to the UK, providing a significant opportunity for Inspired to deploy its expertise in increasing its presence in this market, leveraging the Enlarged Group’s experience of growth in the UK market.”

UK, Kirham, Lancashire & Ireland, Cork and Dublin

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