E.on agrees to buy Matrix in £100m deal

Jonathan Bell led LDC's �10m involvement in Matrix. Picture: Contributed

Jonathan Bell led LDC's �10m involvement in Matrix. Picture: Contributed

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GERMAN utility group E.on has agreed to buy energy-efficiency services provider Matrix, which has a major centre in Glasgow, in a deal believed to be worth as much as £100 million.

Subject to regulatory approval, the deal is expected to complete next month and is set to deliver a healthy return for LDC, the private equity arm of state-backed Lloyds Banking Group, which invested £10m in the business as part of a management buyout in March 2010.

No value was disclosed, but sources said the acquisition was in the region of £85m to £100m.

LDC director Jonathan Bell, who led the initial investment and subsequent exit, said: “The need for businesses to control their energy costs is paramount, which has provided a clear opportunity for Matrix to support and grow its blue-chip client base. We wish Ian Kelly and his team all the best in the future in their new partnership with E.on Connecting Energies.”

E.on’s Connecting Energies subsidiary, launched last year to focus on services such as metering and energy management, said Matrix will remain as a separate brand and the purchase of the business would help it expand in the fast-growing energy-efficiency market.

Chief executive Hervé Touati said: “We see tremendous opportunities from the combination of Matrix’s data-led building energy expertise with our capital-led energy efficiency and on-site generation capabilities.

“This will allow us to provide our customers in the UK and continental Europe much greater control of their energy cost”.

Manchester-based Matrix employs 340 people and has nine offices across the UK, including an energy management centre in Glasgow, from where it can remotely control systems such as lighting and air conditioning for customers in 22 countries.

Chief executive Ian Kelly said: “Getting together with E.on will make our combined business much stronger. We are very happy to have found, with E.on Connecting Energies, a new owner that shares the same vision in the potential of distributed energy and the ways to bring value to our customers.”

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