LDC backs Love Energy

LDCPrivate equity investor LDC has invested more than £25m in Love Energy Savings, an energy price comparison specialist, in a secondary buyout of the business.  The deal also marks a partial exit for NVM Private Equity, which first backed the business in September 2015.

Founded in 2007 and headquartered in Bolton, Love Energy specialises in the comparison of business energy prices. It connects small and medium-sized businesses with the UK energy supplier that offers the most appropriate gas and electricity tariff, before helping its customers to switch provider.

Under the leadership of CEO and co-founder Phil Foster, Love Energy has grown rapidly. For the financial year ending 31 December 2017 it recorded revenues of £17.4m (2016: £13.2m) and today supports more than 40,000 customers nationwide.

LDC’s investment will enable Foster and his team to accelerate their organic growth strategy. This will include the expansion of Love Energy Solutions, its corporate services division which supports major energy users across the industrial and commercial sector, further investment in its proprietary technology platforms and continued diversification into the water telecoms and insurance markets.

The transaction was led by Richard Ibbett and Jonathan Bell at LDC in Manchester, with support from Dan Gluckman at LDC in London. Jonathan and Richard will both join the board as non-executive directors.

As part of the deal, Steve Weller will also join the board as non-executive chairman. Weller has more than 10 years’ experience driving growth at technology-led businesses and was CEO of the energy switching service uSwitch until July 2018, where he worked closely with LDC during its support of the business between 2013 and 2015.

Richard Ibbett, investment director at LDC in Manchester, said: “Love Energy Savings is a fantastic business with an entrepreneurial, ambitious management team at the helm. Under Phil’s stewardship, it has continued to invest in its offering and diversify to create scale, yet the quality of service it provides to customers, suppliers and intermediaries has never wavered. In a market that is crying out for transparency this has set the business apart and with a commitment to help save businesses money there is even further opportunity for growth. We’re looking forward to partnering with Phil and his team on the next phase of their journey.”

UK, Manchester & Bolton

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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Ameresco acquires UK energy management business ESP

amerescoAmeresco, an energy efficiency and renewable energy company based in Framingham, MA, has acquired ESP, an energy management consulting company consisting of The Energy Services Partnership and ESP Response, located in Castleford, UK. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Founded in 2002 and incorporated in 2009, ESP is a  provider of  energy management solutions, including energy supply, invoice management and demand response services for commercial, industrial, manufacturing and utility customers.

“ESP is an exciting addition to the Ameresco family and will expand our enterprise energy management services to help support our multi-national customers that have additional requirements in the United Kingdom,” said George P. Sakellaris, President and Chief Executive Officer, Ameresco. “With this acquisition, we add local expertise to our EEM team and extend Ameresco’s energy supply and information services for our commercial, industrial and manufacturing customers with offices and requirements outside of North America. We look forward to working with the talented ESP team to further develop and cultivate growth opportunities serving not only Ameresco’s multi-national customers’ needs in the United Kingdom, but also ESP’s clients with offices and facilities in North America.”

“The entire ESP team is very pleased with the opportunity to enhance our delivery of sustainable services to our customers as part of Ameresco and to provide our expertise and services to Ameresco’s EEM customers in the United Kingdom,” said Derek Dixon, Chief Executive, ESP. “This acquisition also provides a great opportunity for our customers to benefit from the additional services and resources offered by Ameresco, a leading provider of energy efficiency and renewable energy services.”

Framingham, MA & UK, Castleford, West Yorkshire

Ameresco’s acquisition history

  • In July 2012, the Company’s wholly owned subsidiary Ameresco Canada Inc. acquired FAME, a privately held company offering infrastructure asset management solutions serving both public and private sector customers primarily in western Canada. The Company made a cash payment of $4,486,950 to acquire all of the outstanding stock of FAME.
  • In December 2011, the Company’s wholly owned subsidiary AIS acquired the xChange Point and energy projects businesses, including automated demand response, from EPS. The Company made an initial cash payment of $4,497,141 to acquire these assets. The purchase price is subject to post-closing adjustments for pro-ration of certain revenue and expense items and for certain indemnity obligations of EPS.
  • In August 2011, the Company acquired Ameresco Southwest (then known as APS Energy Services, Inc.) from Pinnacle West Capital Corporation. The Company made a cash payment of $50,057,113 to acquire all of the outstanding stock of Ameresco Southwest.
  • In July 2011, the Company acquired all of the outstanding capital stock of AEG for an initial cash payment of $11,993,236. The former stockholders of AEG, all of whom are now employees of the Company, may be entitled to receive up to $5,000,000 in additional consideration if AEG meets certain financial performance milestones.
  • In August 2010, the Company acquired Quantum Engineering and Development Inc. (“Quantum”) for an initial cash payment of $6,150,000. During April 2011, the Company made an additional payment of $1,956,366 in accordance with certain provisions of the stock purchase agreement with the former shareholders of Quantum.

Utilitywise plc to acquire Energy Information Centre Limited for £15.5 million

utilitywiseUtilitywise plc, a utility cost management consultancy, is to acquire  Energy Information Centre Limited (“EIC”) for a total equity consideration of £15.5 million. Plus they will clear EIC’s mortgage debt.

To fund the transaction, Utilitywise are placing new ordinary shares of 0.1 pence each by finnCap Limited to raise £5 million and a secondary placing of existing Ordinary Shares by finnCap Limited on behalf of certain directors and Hub Capital Partners to raise £17.2 million at a price of 100 pence .

In 2007,on behalf of Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC, Fusion Corporate Partners sold EIC to Broadfern Partners. Then in 2009 Broadfern rebranded as EIC.

Transaction highlights:

Total equity consideration of £15.5 million, to be satisfied by:eic

  • £10.5 million in cash
  • £5 million in new Utilitywise shares
  • In addition, Utilitywise will repay EIC’s existing mortgage debt of £1.94 million
  • Placing of £5 million in new Utilitywise shares to part fund cash consideration. Placing at 100p per share, representing a discount of 6.5% to the closing mid price as at 12 June 2013
  • The consideration represents historic EV/EBITDA* multiple of 6.7x

Geoff Thompson, CEO of Utilitywise, commented: “The acquisition of EIC creates an energy procurement and consultancy firm of real scale and adds further products and expertise to our already impressive portfolio. EIC’s strength lies predominantly in the larger, Industrial & Commercial segment of the market, an area which we had identified as a strategic area of growth, which combined with our market leading position in the SME segment gives us a strong foothold across the market and an excellent platform for growth. Utilising our outstanding proprietary IT and business analysis systems and our combined product range, we believe that we can identify and target a much greater portion of the I&C market, maximise the strength of the EIC brand and, thereby, the return on this investment for our shareholders.

“Since Utilitywise listed on AiM we have carefully added strategic, complementary offerings to our business through the acquisitions of Clouds (energy management) and Aqua Veritas (water consultancy). With the addition of EIC we now have an extremely compelling portfolio of products and services to meet the diverse energy needs of clients of all sizes and the expertise to deliver them. I would like to thank shareholders for their continued support as we continue to look to the future with great confidence.”

A circular will be sent today to shareholders giving notice of a general meeting of Utilitywise to be held on 2 July 2013 at 9.00 a.m. at the offices of finnCap Limited, 60 New Broad Street, London EC2M 1JJ. A copy of the circular can be found on the Company’s website http://www.utilitywise.com.

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Energy Management Transactions from Fusion

Inspired Energy plc trading update for the financial year ended 31 December 2012

inspiredenergyInspired Energy plc trading update for the financial year ended 31 December 2012

Inspired Energy, an energy procurement consultant to UK corporates, has provided a trading update for the financial year ended 31 December 2012.

Revenues for the full year are expected to be marginally ahead of market expectations whilst profit before tax, excluding deal costs and amortisation of intangible assets associated with the acquisition of Direct Energy Purchasing Limited (“DEP”), is anticipated to be broadly in line with forecasts.  Net Debt is expected to be approximately £1.8 million.

Trading remains strong with the contracted order book of Inspired Energy Solutions Limited rising to £6.3 million as at 31 December 2012 (31 December 2011: £4.3 million).  DEP’s order book has also grown substantially in the period since its acquisition to £2.6 million (31 December 2011: £1.7 million), taking the Group’s aggregate current, contracted, order book to £8.9 million as at 31 December 2012.

Janet Thornton, Managing Director of Inspired Energy, commented: “We have a strong contracted order book and the Board is confident of the Group’s outlook. We look forward to continued organic growth in the year ahead, alongside the pursuit of further earnings enhancing acquisitions.”

Inspired Energy expects to announce its full year results for the year ended 31 December 2012 on 21 March 2013.

UK, Kirkham, Lancashire

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Utilitywise – maiden report

Utilitywise, a company that specialises in energy procurement and energy management services for businesses, has announced its first annual report since launching as a new company on AIM in June this year.

Financial highlights

  • Proforma revenue increased by 25% to £14.6 million (2011: £11.7 million)
  • Proforma EBITDA increased by 25% to £4.7 million (2011: £3.7 million)
  • Proforma PBT increased by 23% to £4.3 million (2011: £3.5 million)
  • Proforma EPS increased by 39% to 6.4p (2011: 4.6p)
  • Net cash at the year end of £8.2 million (2011: £0.2 million)
  • Maiden dividend of 1p proposed–ahead of schedule

Corporate highlights

  • Acquisition of EcoMonitoringUtility Systems Limited in January 2012
  • Acquisition of Clouds EnvironmentalConsultancy Limited (post reporting period)
  • Listing on AIM on 12 June 2012 raising £6.9million (before expenses)
  • New contracted meters grew to 20,013 at 31 July 2012 from 15,006 at 31 July 2011
  • Energy consultancy headcount increased to 188 at 31 July 2012 from 131 at 31 July 2011

Read the full report here.

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