NorthEdge Capital, the private equity firm focused on investing in businesses in the North of England, has successfully invested £11.1million in the management buyout of Utiligroup, a Lancashire-based data management and software services provider.
The management software and services company, based in Chorley, provides data management software and services to the energy sector. Utiligroup helped a total of 15 new companies to enter the energy market during the last four years, and supplies software and services to 29 of the active UK energy suppliers. With 88 employees, the company has experienced rapid growth in recent years.
Matthew Hirst, Utiligroup CEO, and Andrew Green, COO, led the MBO of the business. The investment from NorthEdge will facilitate the acceleration of new software development work and allow the business to capitalise on opportunities in the market.
Steve Gosling joins as Chief Financial Officer and Martin Evans (an original founder of the business) as Strategy Director.
The deal was led by NorthEdge partner Ray Stenton, Director Jon Pickering and Investment Executive, George Potts. Jon joins the Board as a Non-Executive Director, while George joins as an Observer.
Jon Pickering, Director at NorthEdge Capital, commented: “We are delighted that Bglobal plc shareholders have approved the disposal and we will now begin working with Matt and the wider team in earnest to carry on growing the business”.
Matthew Hirst, CEO of Utiligroup, said: “We look forward to the next chapter of Utiligroup’s development and for the confidence we now have to grow the business alongside a supportive partner in NorthEdge. Most importantly, the buyout and backing of NorthEdge has been enthusiastically received by our staff, customers and commercial partners alike. We expect to announce further additions to our senior team in the coming months and we are already working with a renewed vigour to deliver market-leading software and services to our customers.”
The deal is the fifth transaction by NorthEdge Capital from its maiden fund, which closed at £225million in March 2013. The firm’s previous investment was a £25.5million investment into Fine Industries, the Teesside-based chemicals manufacturer, a deal completed in just eight weeks.
Seneca Partners (Gordon Lane & Andrew Stubbs) advised NorthEdge Capital; KPMG (Jonathan Boyers & Alex Hartley) advised Bglobal plc. DWF (Jonathan Robinson & Vicky Ross) provided NorthEdge with legal advice while management was advised by Fieldfisher (Matthew Fleetwood & Mo Wang). Financial Due Diligence was completed by BDO (Chris Heatlie, Sarah Cumming & Matthew Molyneux) and Commercial Due Diligence by Credo (Simon Bones & Alex Foulds).
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