Independent British energy supplier Ovo acquires U.S. smart grid technology company VCharge

ovoOVO Energy, a UK based independent energy supplier, has acquired of US energy technology company, VCharge. Headquartered near Boston, VCharge has developed a proprietary technology platform that changes how electric grids are controlled in preparation for the rapid transition to renewable energy and energy storage, helping to solve the problem of renewables intermittency. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

vchargeThe groundbreaking technology uses advanced algorithms to balance grid requirements with individual user requirements.  The first application of the pioneering technology controls electric storage heating in social housing to better manage resident comfort and to address the issue of fuel poverty in local communities, while simultaneously supporting the widespread adoption of renewable energy by providing valuable grid balancing services.

VCharge heating controls are fitted to new or existing electric storage heaters and can be controlled via a smartphone.  When coupled with a new smart tariff, residents experience dramatically improved comfort, lower bills and have control over their heating systems for the first time.

VCharge has completed a number of successful trials of the technology over the last year with major social housing landlords in London, Scotland and the North East, and, with OVO, will begin offering free heating control upgrades combined with a new smart energy tariff to the 1.5m households in Great Britain with electric storage heaters later this year.

The acquisition is the first in OVO’s seven year history.

Stephen Fitzpatrick, CEO of OVO, said: “I’m thrilled to bring VCharge into the OVO family. The team have been doing incredibly exciting and important work in developing technologies that answer the enormous challenge of how to bring more renewable energy to grids around the world. We believe this platform will harness the potential of energy storage in reducing dependency on fossil fuels, while helping to make energy more affordable for all.”

UK, Bristol & USA, Boston, MA

Ascential plc acquires MediaLink for up to $207M

ascentialAscential plc the B2B media company, is to acquire US-based media advisory and business services provider MediaLink for an initial cash price of $69 million plus earnouts.

The earnouts are payable over the period to February 2021 based on the adjusted EBITDA of the business for the three years 2017 to 2019 and are expected to total between $42m and $62m. The earnouts are payable in cash or, for certain elements, shares at Ascential’s option and a portion of the earn-out payments is subject to founders remaining in employment with the company. The total aggregate consideration, including initial consideration and earn out payments, is capped at $207m and requires stretching profit targets to be reached.

MediaLink reported unaudited revenue of $54 million and adjusted PBT of $14 million in 2016, with year-on-year growth of 29% and 24% respectively, and had gross assets of $11 million at December 2016.

The company serves the consumer goods and services segment and operates from four offices in the U.S. Michael Kassan founded Medialink in 2003, he will continue to run the business.

Duncan Painter, Chief Executive Officer of Ascential plc, said: “MediaLink is a leader in its industry, with a strong and very visible brand presence in the US. MediaLink is an excellent fit with our existing Ascential offering and I am confident we can help accelerate MediaLink’s business into new markets by using our assets and infrastructure over the coming months and years. I see synergies between MediaLink and our portfolio of products to significantly help accelerate our existing businesses and create additional value for shareholders.”

UK, London & USA, New York, NY

Related articles:

Be Heard Group acquires 75% of Freemavens for £1.7M

be-heardBe Heard Group Plc, a digital marketing services group, is to acquire a 75% stake in Freemavens Limited, a marketing analytics and innovation consultancy specialising in the use of big data, for a total consideration of around £1.7m. 

For the financial year ended 31 December 2016 Freemavens delivered £1.72 million gross revenue and £0.41m adjusted EBITDA.

freemavensBe Heard will acquire 75% of Freemavens’ equity for £0.84m, that is £0.48m in cash and the issue of 9,303,766 new Be Heard shares. As part of the Acquisition, Be Heard will also repay Freemavens’ existing debt obligations of around £0.87m, due principally to the exiting majority shareholder Let‘s Go Crazy Limited, taking the total consideration to approximately £1.7m. 

The remaining 25% of Freemavens’ equity is being retained by its two founders, who are continuing with the business, and will be subject to a put and call option exercisable after four years, payable 50% in cash and 50% in new Be Heard shares, at a valuation of the lower of 2x historic revenue and 8x historic EBITDA. The maximum total consideration payable is £7.7m. 

Founded in 2012 by Andrej Moyseowicz and Christopher Palengat, Freemavens is an analytics and innovation consultancy which aims to solve clients’ business challenges and develop insights and actionable ideas using big data. The agency, with its 20-strong team, has developed several in-house data analytics tools and methodologies and has clients including Unilever, Barclays, Channel 4 and RNLI.

Peter Scott, Executive Chairman of Be Heard said: “The Freemavens team will give Be Heard industry leading analytics capability, and once bedded into our Group will augment and enhance the work we do for clients. Intelligent use of data underpins all decision making; our intention is to develop the analytics capability at Be Heard as a central function and resource for our clients. Bringing the exceptional Freemavens team into the fold is, I believe, a bold first step.”  

 Completion of the Acquisition is conditional upon completion of a cash placing to raise gross proceeds of £2.1m.

UK, London

XLMedia acquires ClicksMob

XLMediaXLMedia, a provider of digital performance marketing, is to acquire ClicksMob Inc, a mobile performance marketing platform for $5.1 million. The transaction was made through Dau-Up, XLMedia’s mobile marketing subsidiary. It is expected to complete during the first quarter of 2017.

ClicksMob generated unaudited revenues of $16.3 million and profit before tax of $0.3 million for year ended 31 December 2016.

ClicksMob delivers performance-based user acquisition to leading apps across a number of verticals, including gaming, e-commerce, travel, entertainment and finance. The addition of ClicksMob will provide Dau-Up with significant presence in Asia, with over 30% of ClicksMob 2016 revenues generated from the region.

As part of the transaction Dau-Up will acquire ClicksMob’s proprietary technologies such as audience matching, engine optimization and fraud fighting tools which will be integrated with Dau-Up’s own technology.

Ory Weihs, Chief Executive Officer of XLMedia, commented: “We are excited to announce the acquisition of ClicksMob, which combined with our own mobile marketing capabilities provides a significant future growth engine for the Group across key verticals.  This acquisition represents an excellent opportunity for XLMedia to further extend our reach in Asia in addition to strengthening our presence in North America. As mobile marketing becomes a driving force in the online marketing world, we see this as a strategic acquisition to further strengthen our offering in this important vertical.”

UK, London & Tel Aviv, Israel & St Helier, Jersey

Related articles:

 

WPP invests in virtual reality company SubVRsive in the US

wppWPP has made an investment in SubVRsive, Inc., a technology company that works with advertisers that want to engage consumers in the emerging virtual reality and augmented reality sector.

SubVRsive’s clients include the American Heart Association, Lionsgate Entertainment, Procter & Gamble and Showtime Networks. It is based in Austin, Texas and was founded in 2015.

SubVRsive works with directors, producers, content creators and developers to develop video, apps and interactive experiences for virtual reality devices and computers. Separately, in November WPP invested alongside IMAX and others to create US$50 million fund focused on developing virtual reality media projects.

UK, London & USA, Austin, TX

Related articles:

Homeserve acquires 40% of Checkatrade and 70% of Habitissimo for a combined £37M

homeserveHomeServe plc, the home repair and improvements business, has acquired shareholdings in Checkatrade in the UK and Habitissimo in Spain, two separate businesses that provide access to high quality tradespeople performing home repairs and improvements via online platforms.

Checkatrade, based in Selsey, is a UK online directory of customer recommended tradespeople with nearly 1m unique customer visits a month, resulting in approximately 1.3m jobs per annum.  HomeServe has acquired a 40 per cent interest in the business with an option to increase its position by a further 35 per cent in two years.

Habitissimo is an international online business that provides support for home improvements and repairs, connecting homeowners to trusted local tradespeople.  Based in Mallorca (Spain), Habitissimo receives over 3.6 million unique customer visits a month, resulting in approximately 0.25m jobs per annum across nine countries in Europe (Spain, Portugal, Italy and France) and Latin America (Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Chile and Colombia).  HomeServe has acquired a 70 per cent interest in the business with an option to increase its position by a further 30 per cent in either four or five years’ time.

The combined consideration for these two acquisitions was £37 million.

Richard Harpin, Chief Executive, HomeServe plc, commented: “Our investments in Checkatrade and Habitissimo underline HomeServe’s ambition to be at the forefront of the technological revolution as the world’s most trusted provider of home repairs and improvements.  Both of these businesses provide innovative digital platforms, connecting customers to reliable tradespeople.  With leading positions in the home repair and improvements market, these businesses will broaden HomeServe’s reach enabling us to meet the needs of younger, non-insurance minded customers who are looking to find immediate help from a wide range of home trades.

UK, Walsall, West Midlands & UK, Selsey, West Sussex & Spain, Palma De Mallorca, Islas Baleares

 

WPP’s GTB acquires Zubi Advertising Services in the US

gtbGTB, WPP’s wholly owned full-service agency dedicated to the Ford Motor Company account, has acquired Zubi Advertising Services, Inc., a full-service advertising agency that focuses on the Hispanic market in the US.

Zubi’s unaudited net revenues were US$18.9 million as of December 31, 2016. Clients include Ford, JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A. and Dunkin’ Donuts. Founded in 1976, Zubi employs approximately 120 people and is based in Coral Gables, Florida, with offices in Los Angeles and Detroit.

UK, London & USA, Coral Gables, FL

Related articles: