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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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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World Fuel Services acquires Bergen Energi

 

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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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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Inspired Energy acquires Informed Business Solutions

inspired-logo3Inspired Energy PLC has acquired Informed Business Solutions Limitedan energy procurement and environmental services provider, for an initial consideration of approximately £2.25  in cash and shares. Informed Business Solutions provides its services provider to large and multi-site corporates. It has a particularly strong presence in the multi-site retail and leisure markets.  Both companies are based in Kirkham, Lancashire.

Inspired are paying an initial consideration of £1.75 million in cash and issuing 3,545,596 new ordinary shares to the shareholders of Informed. Deferred consideration of up to £2.0 million may also be paid subject to financial performance criteria based on both the contracted order book and revenue for the financial years ending 31 December 2017 and 2018. The Deferred Consideration will be payable in four tranches of up to £0.5 million each.  Two tranches, in relation to the financial year ending 31 December 2017, will be payable in July 2017 and February 2018.  A further two tranches, in respect of the outturn for the year ending 31 December 2018 will be payable in September 2017 and July 2018. 

The directors of the business will remain with the enlarged group. Their shares are subject to a 12 month lock-in and orderly market provisions for a further 12 months from the date of admission.

For the audited financial year ended 31 December 2015, Informed delivered revenues of £1.7 million, EBITDA of £0.7 million, pre-tax profits of £0.7 million and generating operating cash of £0.8 million. Net assets as at 31 December stood at £0.5 million. 

Commenting on the Acquisition, Janet Thornton, CEO of Inspired Energy said: “We are delighted to conclude the acquisition of Informed which is a highly complementary addition to the Group’s core corporate division. The Acquisition broadens our customer base, further enhances our sector specialisms and strengthens our service offering within environmental consultancy. We look forward to working closely with the highly experienced and knowledgeable team of Informed and welcoming them into our core Corporate Division as we seek to advance our position as a market leader.”

UK, Kirkham, Lancashire

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Inspired Energy acquires STC Energy and Carbon Holdings

inspired-logo1Energy procurement company Inspired Energy PLC has acquired STC Energy and Carbon Holdings Limited, an energy bureau, billing and management service provider to large multi-site organisations for an initial consideration of approximately £9 million in cash and shares.

stc-logoThe consideration comprises an initial payment of £5 million in cash and the issue of 32,786,885 new ordinary shares in the capital of Inspired Energy.  The Shares are being issued to the founders of STC, Simon Clayton and Steven Rae, who will remain with the enlarged group and will be subject to a 12 month lock-in and orderly market provisions for a further 12 months from the date of admission.  Simon Clayton will hold 26,229,508 ordinary shares, which will represent 5.56 per cent. of the enlarged group’s issued share capital on admission of the new Shares.

A further contingent consideration of up to £3 million may be payable, in cash and shares in a ratio of 50:50, if certain targets are hit for the period ending 30 September 2017.

In the audited financial year ended 31 March 2015, STC’s principal and only trading subsidiary, STC Energy Management Limited delivered revenues of £3.8 million, EBITDA of £1.7 million, pre-tax profits of £1.4 million and generated operating cash of £1.6 million.

Kent based STC provides a complete range of energy services to help organisations manage their utilities more effectively. In particular, STC has developed a range of energy bureau products and services  aimed at larger UK corporates or organisations with extensive property portfolios or complex billing environments. In addition, STC’s other services include: utility procurement; carbon compliance services; site works and metering; and general energy management consultancy.

STC’s clients range from large multi-site retailers to county councils and housing associations, with property portfolios ranging between 25 and 4,000 individual sites.

STC’s revenue model is predominantly led by fees charged directly to clients in respect of bureau and billing services.  The company has a retention rate on clients of in excess of 90 per cent.  STC also has a commission based revenue stream for energy procurement services, paid directly by suppliers.

Janet Thornton, CEO of Inspired Energy said, “We are delighted to conclude the acquisition of STC, which increases the breadth of our target customer base, enhances our sector specialism including the Public Sector and larger multi-site clients and expands our service offering for our corporate customers and provides geographical diversification.”

In order to fund the cash component of the initial consideration and to provide additional financial flexibility for the Group, Inspired has entered into a new facility agreement with Santander UK plc for a £10 million term loan. The Facility replaces the Group’s previous £5 million term loan facility and £0.6 million of drawn RCF facilities, thus increasing the Group’s indebtedness by £5 million when drawn down.

In addition, the Group has also entered into a revolving credit facility, also with Santander, for the sum of £1.5 million, of which £0.6 million is drawn, to be used for the purposes of satisfying future working capital requirements  and an acquisition facility of up to £3.5m to fund future Group acquisitions.

UK, Kirkham, Lancashire & Bromley, Kent

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