NorthEdge buys energy data business

The £16.1m investment is the fifth deal from the firm’s £225m debut fund

NorthEdge Capital, a Northern England-focused buyout firm, has agreed to acquire Utiligroup, a Lancashire-based data management software and services company, for £16.1 million, according to a statement.

Utiligroup, which was founded in 1997, provides data management software and services to the energy sector. The business supplies software and services to 29 UK energy suppliers, including OVO Energy and Co-Operative Energy, and has an 88-strong workforce.

NorthEdge’s investment will be used for new software development work, as well as growing the business.

“We expect to secure shareholder approval by 18 June and look forward to working alongside the management team to support their growth plans,” Jon Pickering, a director at NorthEdge, said in the statement.

NorthEdge made the investment from its maiden fund, a £225 million vehicle that closed in March 2013. The deal is the fifth transaction from this vehicle and marks NorthEdge’s first investment this year.

Last November, the firm invested £25.5 million into Fine Industries, a Teesside-based chemicals manufacturer. Last April, it backed Help-Link Limited, a boiler and central heating installation specialist based in Leeds, and IT solutions provider Jigsaw24. NorthEdge sealed its first deal in February last year, when it acquired FPE Global, a specialist engineering firm.

NorthEdge, which has offices in Manchester and Leeds, was established in 2009 by co-founders Andy Ball, Grant Berry, Dan Wright and Emma Rawlinson. The generalist firm targets investments between £5 million and £35 million in businesses with an enterprise value of between £10 million and £100 million.

For its maiden fund, NorthEdge attracted commitments from global institutional investors, including CNP Assurances, Industriens Pension, MLC Investments, Pathway Capital Partners, West Yorkshire Pension Fund and the European Investment Fund (EIF), PEI reported earlier.