Inspired Energy acquires Direct Energy Purchasing Limited and raises £1M

Inspired Energy plc, a UK energy procurement consultant to UK corporates, has entered into a conditional agreement to acquire Direct Energy Purchasing Limited (“DEP”), an energy procurement adviser to predominantly multi-site corporates, for a consideration of up to £4.0 million.  Inspired Energy has also raised £1.0 million (before expenses) through a placing of new ordinary shares.

The total consideration for the Acquisition comprises initial consideration of £2.0 million to be satisfied by a cash payment of £1.25 million and the issue of 21,428,572 ordinary shares in the capital of Inspired plus two deferred payments of up to £1.0 million each based primarily upon the financial performance of DEP in the two financial years ending 31 March 2013 and 31 March 2014.

The principal terms of the Acquisition Agreement are described in more detail below.

Inspired has raised £1.0 million (before expenses) through an oversubscribed placing by Shore Capital Stockbrokers Limited of 28,571,429 new ordinary shares of 0.125p each at a price of 3.5p per Placing Share, which will provide additional financing for the Group.

The initial cash payment in respect of the Acquisition will be funded from the Group’s existing cash resources and the Placing. The deferred consideration of up to £2.0 million is expected to be funded from existing cash resources as at completion and future cash-flows generated by the enlarged group.

Overview of DEP and the Acquisition

DEP is an energy purchasing management and consultancy business focused on providing consultancy and bureau services to multi site corporates, with specialisms in the healthcare and specialty retail sectors

The acquisition brings access to new sector verticals and increases the average size of clients across the enlarged Group’s portfolio, complementing and building on Inspired’s growth strategy

In the year ended 31 March 2011, DEP achieved revenues of c. £1.2 million and profit before tax of c. £0.7 million.  As at 31 December 2011, the contracted order book stood at c.£1.7 million. DEP currently serves 68 clients, and manages the procurement and administration of in excess of 6,000 energy meters across the UK.

DEP’s strong retention rates underpin stable revenue progression

Based in Bolton, DEP employs 18 staff and has 68 customers across the UK

Commenting on the Acquisition, Janet Thornton, Managing Director of Inspired said: “We are delighted to conclude our first acquisition since our admission to AIM in November 2011.  The acquisition of DEP complements our growth strategy, providing access to new sector specialisms as well as increasing our average size of client and geographic reach. We believe that the acquisition of DEP will benefit both Inspired and DEP. The acquisition of DEP increases the breadth of our target customer base and brings operational benefits, including increasing our supplier diversification and providing a platform for increased real time reporting.  Similarly, we believe that by becoming part of the Group, DEP’s customers can benefit from our exclusive products, increased buying power and access to our highly innovative and respected risk management team.”

UK, Kirkham, Lancashire and Bolton, Lancashire

Fugro acquires marine survey and environmental consultancy specialist EMU

International geological consultancy Fugro has acquired UK-based marine survey specialist EMU for an undisclosed sum.

EMU is an independent marine survey and environmental consultancy specialist with annual revenues of over EUR 20 million. Based in Southampton, it also has premises in Portsmouth, Edinburgh, UK, Dinard, France and Perth, Australia. The company conducts ecological, geophysical, sediment sampling and hydrographical surveys, laboratory analysis, and provides environmental consulting and reporting services. It currently employs 150 highly-qualified and experienced surveyors, oceanographers and marine environmental scientists.

EMU has a broad client base in the oil and gas, renewables, engineering contracting, marine aggregate and government markets. The company will further internationalise its business, supported by Fugro’s global network.

The acquisition will contribute to Fugro’s strategy to provide its clients with fully-integrated solutions. EMU’s specialist services will further enhance Fugro’s capability to support clients’ projects from concept to completion.

The Netherlands, Leidschendam

SCIenergy acquires energy saving retrofit business Transcend Equity

SCIenergy, Inc., a provider of cloud-based energy management solutions for building owners and operators, today announced it has successfully completed the acquisition of Transcend Equity, a business delivering energy saving retrofits for commercial buildings. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

As part of the deal, SCIenergy will maintain a joint venture agreement with Mitsui & Co. (U.S.A.), Inc., a leading trade and investment company and committed capital partner of Transcend Equity.

Transcend’s proprietary solution—Managed Energy Services Agreement (MESA™)—pays for a landlord’s energy bill along with major capital investments needed to make buildings more energy-efficient.  In return, building owners pay a fee for a fixed period of time, preserving capital resources for their core business activities.

“We are excited to welcome the dedicated and experienced Transcend Equity employees to the SCIenergy team.  Transcend is the clear leader in providing sustained energy reductions for portfolio owners and we can’t wait to extend MESA to our key customers and partners,” said Russ McMeekin, president and chief executive officer, SCIenergy. “MESA will leverage applications in the SCIenergy cloud™ to make commercial buildings more digitally aware and to further outperform traditional energy management offerings”.

USA, San Francisco, CA

Seren Photonics raises £1.8M in equity funding

Fusion IP plc portfolio company Seren Photonics, has raised £1.8M in equity funding to enable Seren to transfer its technology to manufacturing partners around the globe. The first of these exploitation agreements was recently announced with an Indian manufacturer.

Seren’s new processing technique, developed by Professor Tao Wang from the University of Sheffield, has been shown in tests to greatly increase the efficiency at which a high brightness LED converts an applied voltage into light and significantly reduces heat generation under normal running conditions. Successful demonstrations of the patent pending technology have resulted in a significant increase of the light output compared to untreated devices, which means that either much brighter LED lamps can be manufactured or that the power consumption of LED lamps can be reduced.

Seren’s technology is targeted at the large and fast growing white light HB LED markets, such as back lighting for laptops and TVs, signs and displays, as well as domestic, architectural and street lighting.  Dr Godfrey Ainsworth, Seren’s Chairman said, “This market is currently worth an estimated $7bn in 2011 and is set to grow to $20bn by 2014.   HB LEDs are set to replace incandescent lamps as governments around the world bring in legislation banning the manufacture and sale of incandescents and concerns increase about the poor light quality and environmental contamination fears from compact fluorescents.  The rate of adoption will accelerate as the brightness of HB LEDs increases and the cost of manufacture reduces.”

Seren’s funding round raised a total of £1.8M from a number of investors, including I2BF Global Ventures (£1,100,000), Fusion IP plc (£300,000) and IP Group plc (£400,000).  The funding will be used to purchase key capital equipment for HB LED pilot scale development and create a specialist engineering team for the transfer of Seren’s processes to its commercial manufacturing partners.

Post funding Fusion will have a 40.2% undiluted shareholding in Seren.

UK, Sheffield

M&C Energy Group acquire Coleman Hines

Just months after global energy consultants M&C Energy Group opened their first US office in Atlanta, Georgia, it has moved quickly to expand its USA footprint and strengthen its market position with the acquisition of energy consultancy service Coleman Hines, headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona.

Coleman Hines, founded in April 2000, provides energy consultancy services to many National Fortune 500 clients at nearly 35,000 sites covering all US states and Canada, particularly in the retail, restaurant, and commercial sectors. They will become part of M&C Energy Group’s growing worldwide organisation which already has 18 offices in 13 countries and clients in 40 countries.

Mark Dickinson, CEO M&C Energy Group, said: “Bringing M&C Energy Group and Coleman Hines together now creates an exciting prospect within the energy consultancy sector in North America. Not only will they increase our reach in North America, but Coleman Hines provides M&C with a number of exciting products and services specifically developed for the local markets, which will strengthen our portfolio of services. While M&C is a well-known industry-leader around the world, the North American market is relatively new to us and bringing Coleman Hines on board will strengthen our foothold and market position there.”

UK-based mid-market growth investor, Lyceum Capital, acquired M&C Energy Group for £22 million in 2010 and, since then, has implemented a rigorous programme of operational enhancement and supported a number of strategic acquisitions.

Dan Adler, Partner at Lyceum and M&C board member, said: “Coleman Hines is a well-established energy advisory firm of scale with an outstanding client retention rate and a highly progressive management team. The company’s services are closely aligned to those of M&C and so it presents the ideal platform for the wider Group to develop its North American proposition and gain market share in the country’s growing energy consultancy sector, which remains highly fragmented. The US is a key market for M&C’s services and, with a number of significant contracts already in the pipeline for the enlarged business, there is a compelling case for the firm’s North American expansion.”

The addition of Coleman Hines the latest in a line of acquisitions by M&C. In 2010 they acquired Utility Masters Ltd in the UK (a deal brokered by Fusion Corporate Partners), ETT GmbH in Germany, Creative Energy Solutions in Australia, and Encore International Ltd in the UK and in Hungary (also brokered by Fusion Corporate Partners).

Recently M&C added a Brisbane office to their Australian operation to complement their existing Melbourne office. A New Zealand office is expected to open in the Spring of 2012.

UK, Dunfermline & USA, Phoenix, AZ

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