Winch Energy invests in Italian energy broker Onda Energy
Energy group Winch Energy has invested in Sicily-based energy trader Onda Energy and its subsidiary Energit, based in Sardinia.
The Onda Energy Group is the largest gas and electricity broker in both Sicily and Sardinia, with some 35,000 commercial customers in Sicily, Sardinia and Italy. The combined group has turnover of over EUR100m and employs some 100 people.
The acquisition will give the Onda Group access to significant funding to grow its activities and strengthen its balance sheet. Winch Energy will bring its expertise in solar PV and LED lighting to the Onda Group and expects to roll out funded solar PV and LED solutions to the Onda customer base in Q1 2013. The acquisition also gives the Winch Energy Group a significant presence in one of the largest free electricity and gas trading markets in the world.
The partnership between the two groups will help the Onda Group consolidate its leading position in Italy by organic and acquisition growth. Onda and Winch Energy believe that the combined groups are now well positioned to take advantage of and indeed be the driving force in the market consolidation in the energy broking business, which is characterised with a multitude of small brokers all vying for the same customer base. The Onda Group intends to seek a stock market listing in 2013.
Winch Energy chairman Nicholas Wrigley becomes the chairman of the Onda Group and Winch Energy Italy chief executive Salvatore Magazù becomes a board member of the Onda Group with executive responsibilities.
The London headquartered Winch Energy Group develops both renewable and traditional energy projects internationally. It is a developer, owner and operator of power generating projects across Europe and emerging markets in Africa, the Caribbean, and Latin America.
Wrigley says: “We chose Onda Energy for its proven expertise, technological innovation and professionalism in the Italian energy market. We would expect Onda to be the Winch Energy platform to expand the broking business outside of Italy into other Southern European and North African markets. Sicily, where Onda is headquartered is the gateway to North Africa which offers significant power opportunities in both gas and renewable power generation projects.
”To compete with national and international energy giants you need to aggregate the small brokers, and in Southern Italy there are many. We aim to create a large energy hub capable of providing a real alternative for consumers and an opportunity for industrial development.”
Onda Energy’s chief executive Luigi Martines says: “With the investment of Winch Energy into the Onda Group, Onda Energy will aim to become a very significant player in the local and international energy markets. We have worked with the Winch Group for a number of years now and believe their contribution will significantly enhance our product offering, our turnover and geographical reach.”
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