Utilitywise plc acquires EIC with £10m support from RBS


Utilitywise plc acquires EIC with £10m support from RBS

South Shields-based Utilitywise PLC (Utilitywise), a leading utility cost management consultancy offering energy procurement brokering and management to businesses in the UK, has acquired Redditch-based rival Energy Information Centre Ltd (EIC) for an undisclosed total sum supported by £10m funding facilities from the Newcastle team at Royal Bank of Scotland Corporate & Institutional Banking (RBS CIB).

AIM-listed Utilitywise has grown substantially since inception in 2006 and currently employs 400 staff.  The core of the business, which accounts for around 90% of revenue, is the brokerage of competitive gas and electric energy tariffs to large and small UK businesses.  Utilitywise, which on average signs up to 60 new accounts per day, has developed relationships with all major energy suppliers, including TGP, British Gas, EDF, Scottish Power, Gazprom, Npower and Shell.  Alongside tariff brokerage, Utilitywise provides additional energy management services such as energy monitoring (Smart meters and sophisticated circuit level monitoring); audit/ reduction consultancy; and water services.

Energy Information Centre Limited (EIC) was formed in 1975 and initially delivered market intelligence to the oil market before expanding into wider energy market and consultancy services.  Based at state-of-the-art offices, EIC’s 90-strong specialists offer a wide range of services and deal with a total energy portfolio value of £1.2bn.  The firm has an estimated 10 percent share of the UK energy consultancy market with an £8m turnover.

The rationale for acquisition is to add EIC’s product capability to Utilitywise’s customer proposition as well as EIC’s strong track record in the delivery of flexible risk managed contracts to a long-standing portfolio of larger corporate businesses.  RBS CIB has provided an £8m revolving facility to support the acquisition in conjunction with a revolving £2m in working capital funding to assist with the acquisition and provide funding support for future requirements.  RBS CIB has also become the day-to-day business bank for Utilitywise, taking over the relationship from a long-term incumbent.

Andrew Richardson, chief financial officer, Utilitywise, said: “Our business has gone from strength to strength over the past seven years and this acquisition is an indication of our aspirations in the UK corporate market.  We offer an in-demand service to a growing number of cost conscious clients and are very confident in the strength of our business model and our ambitions.  We have been very impressed by the business and financial support offered by the Newcastle team at RBS CIB, and look forward to working closely with them going forward.”

Graham Robinson, relationship director, Royal Bank of Scotland Corporate & Institutional Banking, said: “We are delighted to be working with Utilitywise.  This is a strong, growing business and a true success story for the North East.  We have worked hard to deliver an effective, innovative funding solution and are delighted to welcome the business as a day-to-day banking client.  We remain firmly committed to making RBS CIB the bank of choice for businesses in the North East and I’m absolutely delighted that Utilitywise has seen the strength of our proposition.”

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