6 PE-backed deals that help save on energy costs

Ara Partners, CVC and Partners Group are among the PE firms targeting electricity cost-saving technology.

The energy crisis and energy security worries have made energy efficiency and management ever more hot topics. While some PE firms are investing in alternative energy sources, others have found options such as electricity cost-saving tech more appealing.

PE Hub Europe and affiliate title PE Hub have covered many deals in the energy management segment. Here are six recent deals that caught our attention (in reverse chronological order):

1. Ara Partners wins majority stake in Wattstor

In early February, Ara Partners snapped up a majority stake in Wattstor, a provider of automated carbon reduction and electricity cost-saving technology for small and medium-sized enterprises and mid-market industrial and commercial end users.

“Wattstor provides a unique and highly compelling automated behind-the-meter solution allowing its I&C customers to reduce their carbon footprint and save on costs, while increasing energy security,” said Myles O’Shaughnessy, managing director at Ara Partners. “Wattstor’s offering fully aligned with Ara’s sustainability principles and our ongoing focus on proven technologies for sectors requiring investment to decarbonise.”

With its headquarters in London, Wattstor has offices in the UK, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Croatia and Poland.

2. FSN Capital allies with Danish installation firms to form new market player

In another February deal, FSN Capital Partners partnered with 11 Danish technical installation companies to form InstallatørGruppen, a new market player within electricity, plumbing, optical fibre, ventilation and cooling systems. The firm aims to partner with local installers across Denmark and promote sustainability and energy efficiency.

“It is evident that the installation industry will play an important role in promoting energy efficiency in buildings, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and thus contributing to the achievement of Denmark’s climate goals,” said Nicolai Norrbom, partner at FSN Capital Partners.

3. CVC strikes deal for 50% of energy firm Gridspertise

CVC announced in late October that it had signed an agreement to acquire 50 percent of Gridspertise from Enel Group. The Rome-headquartered company, is an energy transition enabler that provides hardware, software and services to electricity infrastructure operators with an aim to help them transition from traditional electricity distribution grids into smart grids.

Gridspertise has a geographical footprint in Italy, Spain, Brazil and elsewhere in Latin America. The investment from CVC is aimed to help the company expand its go-to-market capabilities and diversify its geographical footprint.

4. PE-backed Priority Power acquires consultancy AB Power Advisors

Also in October, Priority Power, backed by Oaktree Capital Management and Ara Partners, acquired Texas-based AB Power Advisors, a consulting business that targets the U.S. power industry.

Priority Power is a provider of clean energy optimisation and infrastructure services. AB Power Advisors’ service offering includes strategic energy management, regulatory advisory, M&A support and offtake origination.

5. Resurgens portfolio company EnergyCAP purchases Wattics

In August, Resurgens Technology Partners-backed EnergyCAP bought Wattics, a provider of energy management analytics and monitory software. Wattics’ software identifies anomalies, monitors air quality and triggers real-time notifications and recommendations to end-users.

Dublin-based Wattics provides what Resurgens managing director and co-founder Fred Sturgis calls “interval data”. Rather than just providing information on energy consumption at the end of the billing cycle, Wattics allows daily – “or even more frequent if you need it” – consumption information, which allows for richer analytics, he told PE Hub Europe.

“The primary thesis is to be able to bring that capability, which really resides in Wattics, into the EnergyCAP offering,” Sturgis added. “There’s a much clearer value prop for a wider array of businesses with this capability. Consultants who advise people on their energy programmes have long been a Wattics focus. We would expect to continue to service that market as well.”

6. Partners Group acquires energy firm Budderfly

In July, Partners Group took a majority equity stake in Shelton, Connecticut-based Budderfly, an energy-as-a-service (EaaS) provider. The purchase price was more than $500 million.

Budderfly offers EaaS solutions for the measurement, reduction and management of energy demand and consumption. Budderfly has more than 2,750 customer sites across 49 states.

According to the news release on the deal, Partners Group “aims to transform Budderfly into a multi-billion-dollar infrastructure platform by investing to expand its customer base and solutions offering”.

PE Hub Europe expects to see more deals in the energy efficiency and management segments in the future.