IMServ to be sold by Schneider Electric to Blue Water Energy

IMServ Europe Limited has announced to customers that their owners, Schneider Electric, have signed an agreement with Blue Water Energy LLP for the sale of IMServ.

Bluewater is a London-based middle-market private equity firm, specialising in the energy sector.

IMServ is a provider of metering and data services to the energy market and has around 525 employees, primarily in the UK.

The date of the closing, should be effective in Q3 2021.

More details to follow.

UK, London & UK, Milton Keynes & France, Rueil-Malmaison

Bglobal plc to sell its metering business

bglobalAs a result of a strategic review the board of Bglobal plc has decided to sell its metering business, B Global Metering Limited.

The company is also implementing a number of other actions including taking significant cost out of Bglobal’s head office and re-focusing the business on its customers and implementing strict cash management procedures.

The company does not intend to sell Utiligroup Limited the data management software publisher it bought for £11.59 million in August 2011.  The sale of the Bglobal company as a whole was being considered. However, this no longer the case and as a result, the company is no longer in an “offer period” for the purposes of the Takeover Code.

John Grant, Chairman, notes that: “Since 15 August 2013, I, the Board, the management team and employees of the Company have – with the assistance of KPMG LLP – been working hard to review the strategic direction of the Company. As a result, we have already taken a number of steps to improve the current performance of Bglobal, and have decided to explore whether shareholder value can be further maximised through the sale of the metering business as we believe that a third party may be better placed to take this business to the next phase of its development. I would like to thank the customers and employees of the Company for their support during this review period.”

UK, Darwen, Lancashire

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Smart Metering Systems plc – results for the year ended 31 December 2012

Smart Metering Systems plc, a metering services company has announced final results for the 12 months to 31 December 2012.

Financial Highlights

  • Revenue increased by 32% to £21.0m (2011: £16.0m)
  • Recurring meter rental increased by 40% to £9.3m (2011: £6.6m) representing 44% of total revenue
  • Gross profit increased by 50% to £13.3m (2011: £8.9m)
  • Gross profit margin increased by 8% to 63%
  • Adjusted EBITDA* increased by 59% to £9.0m (2011: £5.7m)
  • EBITDA margin increased by 7% to 43%
  • Basic earnings per share increased by 77% to 5.18p (2011:2.93p)
  • Final dividend of 1.15p per ordinary share making 1.65p for the full year
  • New banking club arrangement announced on 2 August 2012 for £45.0m with Barclays Bank PLC (lead bank), Clydesdale Bank PLC and Lloyds Bank PLC, replacing all existing facilities
  • Available cash resources of £31.1m at 31 December 2012

(*Excluding exceptional items and fair value adjustments).

Operational Highlights

  • Total meter portfolio increased by 34% to 341,000 (2011: 254,000) of which 95% are domestic, with substantial growth since half year (H1 2012: 283,275) and currently over 365,000
  • Increase of 74% in capital investment in meter assets to £16.0m (2011: £9.2m) an increase in average monthly run rate of meter installations to £1.3m investment in 2012 (2011: £0.76m)
  • Increase in annualised recurring meter rental revenue as at 31 December 2012 of 42% to £10.8m (2011: £7.6m) and at 28 February 2013 £11.5m.
  • Increase of 26% in Asset installation revenue to £11.8m (2011: £9.4m) of which Gas Connection business increased turnover by 10% to £6.5m (2011: £5.9m)

Alan Foy, Chief Executive Officer, commented: “In our second year since our AiM admission we have delivered another strong set of results against our strategy of ongoing accumulation of meter assets and the introduction of our smart meter technology ADM™. Our second half performance in particular has been very pleasing building on contracts won in 2011 and 2012. We continue to strengthen our team and our financial resources and look to 2013 for another successful year.”

More information here.

UK, Scotland, Glasgow

Bglobal sells Utilisoft Australia to Hansen Corporation

bglobalSmart energy solutions and services business Bglobal plc has sold its Australian subsidiary, Utilisoft Pty Ltd (“Utilisoft Australia”), to Hansen Corporation Pty Ltd for a cash consideration of AUD$3.5 million (£2.36 million). Utilisoft Australia provides data management, software and process solutions to customers in the Australian energy market.  Hansen is an independent provider of billing, customer care and IT solutions to the telecommunications, electricity, gas and water industries.

In the year ending 31 March 2012, Utilisoft Australia achieved revenue of £2.38 million, operating profit of £0.36 million and profit before taxation of £0.39 million.  The net assets of Utilisoft Australia at 31 March 2012 were £0.40 million.

The sale of Utilisoft Australia will allow the Board to focus on its remaining UK operating businesses and continue to develop its “meter to cash” smart meter services platform.  During 2012, investment has been made in establishing Bsmart Energy Solutions, a company that is focused on delivering end to end energy services to the SME market and Nutech Training Limited, a company that provides dual fuel smart meter installation training. Both of these subsidiaries are now generating revenues for the Group. The cash proceeds of the sale will be used to invest in the further development of products and services, especially in the further development and testing of a PAYG integrated software solution for which the Group has received strong interest.

The Group now has a strengthened balance sheet, cash in the bank of approximately £3.4 million and the Board has confidence that further progress will be made during the current calendar year to capitalise on the opportunities that the Group is currently pursuing.

Tim Jackson-Smith, CEO, commented: “The sale of our Australian subsidiary strengthens the Group’s balance sheet and provides us with the resources to accelerate the development and field testing of our PAYG solution for which we have seen strong interest from existing energy suppliers and social and commercial landlords. I would like to thank all of the team at Utilisoft Pty for their commitment and hard work and look forward to seeing the business develop under its new owner.”

UK, Darwen, Lancashire & Australia, Bathurst NSW

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Energy Assets Group acquires Gazprom Global Energy Solutions

Energy Assets, a large independent provider of gas metering services to the UK Industrial and Commercial market, is to acquire Gazprom Global Energy Solutions Limited (GGES) for an enterprise value of £13.5m. GGES is a wholly owned subsidiary Gazprom Marketing & Trading Ltd. The deal comprises of an initial cash consideration of £6.0m, potential cash earn-out payment of £3.0m (payable dependent upon the level of data logger installations carried out by Energy Assets) and existing GGES debt of £4.5m that is to be refinanced upon acquisition.

Based in Manchester, GGES is part of the Gazprom group, one of the world’s largest energy companies, and provides fully integrated Metering, Automated Meter Reading (“AMR”) and Siteworks services to gas suppliers and blue-chip clients across the I&C sector. GGES manages a portfolio of approximately c.27,000 data points across gas, water and electricity sectors. When combined with Energy Assets’ existing portfolio of c.21,000 data loggers.

Completion of the GGES acquisition will significantly enhance each of the Energy Assets business divisions, providing additional scale and expertise to the Group whilst formalising the metering and technical services’ relationship built with Gazprom Energy over time. The acquisition brings with it GGES’s AMR technology for both gas and water applications, low power radio data collection technology and a range of products and IP. Gazprom will retain the rights to use the IP in the AMR technology in Russia, Germany and the FSU countries.

The acquisition of GGES also includes a Meter Asset Management (MAM) agreement that will see Energy Assets appointed as the primary Meter Asset Manager for Gazprom Energy’s UK portfolio. The deal also provides Energy Assets with an exclusivity period during which it will install new metering assets and undertake meter exchanges across Gazprom Energy’s existing and new UK portfolio as it seeks delivery of its advanced metering strategy in line with the Department of Environment and Climate Change proposals and its customers’ energy management needs.

Energy Assets currently manages a portfolio of c.53,000 meters in the I&C sector, and as such, completion of this metering programme has the potential to more than double the current Energy Assets portfolio.

In addition to the metering agreement, the acquisition provides for Gazprom Energy and Energy Assets to work in partnership to provide both AMR and Siteworks through a separate, exclusive, AMR and Siteworks agreement.

Transaction consideration will be funded from the £11.7m of net proceeds raised from the Group’s flotation on the London Stock Exchange in March this year, in line with the stated IPO strategy of pursuing attractive opportunities such as this large-scale meter installation programme.

For the year to 31 December 2011, GGES generated revenues of £5.1m and profit before tax of £0.2m, which is reported after the deduction of intra-group charges. The directors believe that combining the resources of both businesses will further enhance earnings expectations for financial year 2013/14 onwards.

At that date GGES had gross assets of £6.5m.

Phil Bellamy-Lee, Chief Executive of Energy Assets, said, “I am delighted to announce the acquisition of Gazprom Global Energy Solutions from Gazprom Marketing & Trading Ltd, one of the fastest growing energy companies in Europe. This transaction provides Energy Assets with a fantastic opportunity to continue the development of the long standing relationship between the two companies and is a significant step in the delivery of Energy Assets’ strategy to increase meter asset management and ownership as set out at the time of the IPO.

UK, Scotland, Livingston