Edinburgh energy consultancy WoodMac bought by private equity firm in £3bn deal
Nasdaq-listed global data analytics provider Verisk has agreed to offload WoodMac, which it acquired in 2015, to an affiliate of Veritas Capital, which is described as an investor “at the intersection of technology and government”, for $3.1bn in cash consideration plus future additional contingent consideration of up to $200 million.
WoodMac is billed as providing data, analytics, and insights used to power the energy, renewables, and natural resources industry for nearly 50 years, having in the last seven years developed “strong” data and analytics capabilities, and now “advantageously positioned at the nexus of energy industry tailwinds, offering clients leading renewable energy and energy transition data and analytics with the bold purpose of transforming the way the planet is powered”.
Lee Shavel, chief executive of New Jersey-based Verisk, said the deal will advance WoodMac’s competitive position, adding: “As co-presidents of Wood Mackenzie, Mark Brinin and Joe Levesque have demonstrated remarkable leadership and have continued to grow the business by relentlessly innovating on behalf of their clients. We’re proud to have supported Wood Mackenzie’s growth and are confident in their bright future as part of Veritas.”
The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2023, subject to relevant approvals, while Verisk said it intends to use the net proceeds to pay down debt and return value to shareholders. WoodMac, which says it started out as a “small, relatively unknown”, Edinburgh-based stockbroker, underwent its second change of ownership in fewer than three years when it was acquired in 2015.
It will benefit from Veritas’ sector knowledge and operational expertise, the latter firm said. Ramzi Musallam, chief executive officer and managing partner of Veritas, said: "Wood Mackenzie is playing a vital role at the forefront of the global energy transition by providing essential data and insights to organizations across the value chain. In partnership with Wood Mackenzie leadership, and with the strong backing of our strategic investment, we have an opportunity to enhance and expand the datasets and solutions the company provides to its growing customer base, from upstream producers who are looking to decarbonize to new energy asset-managers who want to optimize their investments."
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