Inspired Energy acquires Professional Cost Management Group

inspired-logo3Inspired Energy, an energy procurement consultant to UK and Irish businesses, has acquired Professional Cost Management Group Limited (“PCMG”), a national cost recovery specialist, for up to £700,000Inspired Energy is making an initial cash payment of £150,000, with a potential further £550,000 subject to the achievement of targets based on future EBITDA performance. 

For the financial year ended 31 December 2017, PCMG had revenues of £2.84 million, EBITDA of £(0.17) million, and a net loss of £(0.19) million. Net assets as at 31 December 2017 stood at £0.7 million.

PCMG provides a forensic auditing service to identify and recover overpayments of utilities and telecoms bills on behalf of its clients and provides optimisation analysis to enable customers to improve their tariff and billing structure. The company was founded in 1993 and was acquired by Alma Consulting Group SAS (a subsidiary of the French Ayming Group) in March 2008.

The Managing Director of PCMG will remain with the enlarged Group after completion and Inspired Energy intends to incentivise the Managing Director and other key employees of PCMG by granting share options in the Group following completion. PCMG is based in Blackpool. The business will be relocated to Inspired Energy’s Kirkham head office on expiry of the current lease that runs to November 2018.

Commenting on the acquisition, Mark Dickinson, CEO of Inspired said: “We are delighted to conclude the acquisition of PCMG, which is a highly complementary addition to Inspired’s core Corporate Division. The PCMG team and brand are well respected within the sector.”

UK, Kirkham, Lancashire and Blackpool, Lancashire

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FC Business Intelligence targets growth with LDC investment

LDCMid-market private equity investor LDC has backed the management buyout of global events company FC Business Intelligence. The value of the transaction is undisclosed.

FCBI delivers conference and exhibition events with a focus on providing thought leadership in a diverse range of sectors that are facing both challenges and opportunities from technological and strategic innovation including the energy, insurance, pharmaceuticals transportation and travel sectors. Its offering is designed to help senior business professionals stay at the forefront of change through insight sharing and networking with peers.

The investment will enable FCBI to target further organic growth as it plans to increase the scale of its events and expand into new markets, including Asia. The business will also look to make a number of acquisitions both at home and overseas.FC Business Intelligence

With 130 employees based at its head office in Shoreditch, FCBI operates globally with 65 per cent of the company’s annual turnover of £30 million generated in the US, 20 per cent in continental Europe and 10 per cent in the UK.

LDC is backing FCBI’s existing management team, led by Chief Executive Officer Piers Latimer. The investment marks an exit for its original founders.

The deal was led by investment director David Andrews and investment manager Alex Wilby. David Andrews and Rob Schofield will join the board of the business with Tim Trotter joining as Non-Executive Chairman, bringing significant experience of growing PE-backed people businesses internationally. David Gilbertson, former CEO of EMAP and Informa, also joins as a Non-Executive Director, bringing a wealth of industry experience.

Piers Latimer, Chief Executive Officer of FCBI, said, “We have established a worldwide reputation for developing high-quality strategic events that deliver the insights business leaders need to direct their companies and shape their markets. With demand for our services only set to increase, we’re in a great position to accelerate growth. Bringing on board an experienced and well-connected investment partner in LDC felt right at this juncture and we’re excited to be moving forward with their support”.

David Andrews, investment director at LDC in London, added, “Piers and his management team have overseen a remarkable period of growth for FCBI thanks to their focus on content-rich, delegate-led events that deliver real value to more than 9,000 attendees and 1,400 sponsors and exhibitors each year. The opportunity now is for the management team to strengthen and extend this growth and we’re looking forward to supporting them on this journey.”

UK, London

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Inspired Energy acquire Squareone Enterprises

inspired-logo3Inspired Energy has acquired Squareone Enterprises Limited in a deal worth up to in a £1.375 million. Squareone is a provider of energy procurement, energy management and water procurement services with a strong presence in the education and manufacturing sectors.

Inspired are paying £0.75 million in cash, plus an earn out of up to £0.625 million based on revenue targets for the 12 month periods ending 31 March 2019 and 2020.

In financial year ending March 2018, Squareone had revenues of £0.5 million, EBITDA of £0.25 million, and generated operating cash of £0.23 million. Net assets as at 31 March 2018 stood at £0.1 million.

Commenting on the acquisitions, Mark Dickinson, CEO of Inspired Energy said: “We are delighted to conclude the acquisition of Squareone, which is a highly complementary addition to Inspired’s core Corporate Division. The Squareone team are well respected within the sector, and were deservedly recognised as such at the 2018 Energy Live Consultancy Awards. The Acquisition further enhances our customer base and strengthens our sector specialisms.”

The business is based in Boldon, Tyne and Wear, close to the head office of Churchcom Limited, a company acquired by Inspired in April 2017. Michael Harkus, co-founder and Managing Director of Squareone, will remain with the Group after completion.

UK, Kirham, Lancashire & Boldon, Tyne and Wear

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GoCompare.com acquires energy switching specialist Energylinx for £10M

go-compare-logo-newGoCompare.com Group plc has acquired Energylinx for £10m in cash.

Energylinx is an energy comparison and switching specialist and has commercial relationships 69 domestic energy and 40 business energy suppliers. Customers include Which? and Citizens Advice Bureau. The company operates a white-label proposition, with around 200 active affiliates.

Matthew Crummack, CEO of GoCompare, said: “We are pleased to announce this acquisition, which marks yet another significant milestone for the Group as we continue to build services that work for both our customers and partners. Energylinx has an excellent reputation in the industry among energy suppliers and those who use its white-label services, and we will leverage our strong brand, tech and product capabilities to expand its reach and impact to help save even more people time and money.

Energylinx is headquartered in Alloa, Scotland and employs a team of 20 staff. Following completion, Ken Geddes, founder and CEO will join the Group.

UK, Wales, Newport & UK, Scotland, Alloa

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Duke Energy assumes full ownership of California-based REC Solar

Duke EnergyDuke Energy, one of the largest energy companies in the U.S., announced today it has acquired full ownership of California-based REC Solar, a provider of renewable energy solutions for commercial customers throughout the country. Details of the deal were not disclosed. Duke Energy first acquired a majority interest in REC Solar in February of 2015.

REC Solar is a nationwide provider of complete commercial, public sector and utility-scale solar solutions, founded in 1997. The company offers all design, engineering, financing and maintenance services in house, allowing for a simple customer experience.

“REC Solar complements our strengths in forming strategic partnerships with customers of all sizes,” said Chris Fallon, vice president Duke Energy Renewables and Commercial Portfolio. “Energy solutions specifically tailored to the commercial consumer will expand renewable energy opportunities for enterprise, municipal, educational and business customers, large and small.”

USA, Charlotte, NC, San Luis Obispo, CA

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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

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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