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Private equity firm NorthEdge Capital has invested GBP11.1 million 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.
Matthew Hirst, Utiligroup chief executive, and Andrew Green, chief operating officer, 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. Pickering joins the board as a non-executive director, while Potts joins as an observer.
Pickering says: “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.”
Hirst says: “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 GBP225 million in March 2013. The firm’s previous investment was a GBP25.5 million investment into Fine Industries, the Teesside-based chemicals manufacturer, a deal completed in just eight weeks.
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