Sovereign Capital Partners backs MBO of Utility Bidders

utility bidderPrivate Equity Buy & Build specialist Sovereign Capital Partners has backed the management buy-out of Utility Bidder, an energy broker, offering energy procurement services to UK, SME customers.  The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Founded in 2009, and headquartered in Corby, Utility Bidder employs around 100 staff and has a sales office in Manchester. The company currently brokers energy and other utilities contracts to over 14,500 SME clients across a number of industry sectors in the UK.

sovereignUtility Bidder has performed strongly growing sales by over 40% in the current year. The team is led by an CEO, Chris Shaw; Sovereign has augmented the management team with the appointment of Mark Wood, formerly CEO of Axa UK, as non-executive Chairman. Founders James Longley and Sally Martin remain with the business, James as Utility Bidder’s MD.

Jeremy Morgan, Partner at Sovereign, said, “We are very pleased to be supporting this business and strong management team in what is a burgeoning market. Utility Bidder has already achieved tremendous success and enjoys established relationships with both its SME customer base and its energy suppliers.  We look forward to working with Chris and the team to help take this top ranked energy broker to the next stage of growth.”

UK, London & Corby, Northamptonshire

Inspired to acquire energy procurement business Inprova Finance Limited for £19.5M

inspired-logo3Inspired, an energy procurement consultancy, has conditionally agreed to acquire Inprova Finance Limited (IFL) for £19.5 million in cash from Inprova Group Limited .

Inspired proposes to raise up to £19 million by way of a conditional placing of 115,151,516 new Ordinary Shares at 16.5 pence per Ordinary Share to finance the balance of the Consideration and associated advisory fees relating to the Acquisition.

IFL provides energy procurement and consultancy services to its help it customers buy energy efficiently and monitor and reduce their carbon footprint. The company has access to 19,000 meter points through over 1,000 customers. It operates in four main sectors – data centres, social housing, education and construction.

In the year ended 30 June 2018, IFL had revenues of £7.8 million and EBITDA of £2.9 million; at 30 June 2018, IFL’s order book stood at c.£11.6 million

Commenting on the proposed acquisition, Mark Dickinson, Chief Executive Officer of Inspired, said: “We are delighted to have agreed the acquisition of IFL and its group of energy businesses. This acquisition provides an opportunity to drive further growth from Inspired’s established platform and deliver value creation, both strategically and operationally, in addition to strengthening the Group’s position as a leading TPI in the UK and Ireland. We look forward to working with the team as we continue to accelerate our next phase of growth.”

In April 2015, Fusion completed the sale of two business to Inprova Group in two days: Two Fusion Deals in Two Days: The sale of energyTEAM and ENER-G Procurement – full story

UK, Kirkham, Lancashire & Warrington, Cheshire

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Inprova Group

 

 

 

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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LG Energy Group acquires Guild Energy

LG Energy Group logo smlLancashire based LG Energy Group has acquired Guild Energy, an energy procurement business based in Liverpool. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

LGE Managing Director, Asif Rizvi believes “These are exciting times for both the LGE and Guild Energy. The acquisition of Guild Energy further enhances our customer offering as the merger of SME with our current Industrial and Commercial products allows us to provide a more holistic approach to the market. The sharing of people, knowledge and systems across the companies will only strengthen the management and direction of both businesses”.

Karen Trepte remains as Managing Director of Guild Energy while Co-founder Paul Trepte becomes group risk manager within the wider Rigby Organisation, which is controlled by Simon Rigby, chairman of LG Energy Group.

UK, Blackpool & Liverpool

 

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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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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Inspired Energy acquires Flexible Energy Management and Churchcom 

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Inspired Energy has acquired the trade and assets of Flexible Energy Management Limited and 100% of the shares in Churchcom Limited.

Flexible Energy Management Limited (FEM)

Founded in 2012 , FEM is a public sector energy procurement specialist, servicing a customer base comprising of NHS foundation trusts/hospitals and academic and sporting institutions, through two NHS sponsored OJEU frameworks*. The business is based in Manchester, the two Directors of FEM have over 20 years’ experience in the NHS. 

Inspired are paying £2.2 million in cash for FEM and in addition will issue of 2,993,653 new ordinary shares to the shareholders, who will remain with the business. For the financial year ended 31 March 2016, FEM delivered revenues of £0.65 million, EBITDA of £0.47 million and generated operating cash of £0.47 million.

Churchcom Limited

Churchcom is an energy procurement consultant based in Peterlee, County Durham. Churchcom operates under two trading divisions, Church Energy Purchasing Group, which specialises in energy procurement for churches and Energy Partners, offering energy procurement services for commercial customers, complementing Inspired’s core Corporate Division.

Inspired are paying £1.4 million in cash for Churchcom. For the financial year ended 31 January 2017, Churchcom delivered revenues of £0.64 million, EBITDA of £0.35 million and generated operating cash of £0.47 million. Net assets as at 31 December 2016 stood at £0.24 million. The founder directors of Churchcom have sold the business in order to retire and will leave after a handover period.

Commenting on the acquisitions, Janet Thornton, CEO of Inspired Energy said: “We are delighted to conclude the acquisition of Flexible Energy Management and Churchcom, which are highly complementary additions to the Group’s core corporate division. These acquisitions broaden our customer base, further enhance our sector specialisms and increase our geographical spread. “

The acquisitions are being financed from the Group’s existing financial resources, with funding provided by an extension to the Group’s existing £3.5 million acquisition facility with Santander to £5.1 million.

* OJEU frameworks are framework agreements which govern the procurement process for Public Sector Bodies with the intention of improving the effectiveness of the tender process. The frameworks are subject to the rules of Regulation 33 of the Public Contracts Regulation 2015 which transposes Article 33 of Directive 2014/24/EU.

UK, Kirham, Lancashire & Manchester & Peterlee, County Durham

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