Energy Assets investors raise doubts over Â£198m deal
A group of investors in Energy Assets is threatening to vote against the gas meter firm's Â£198 million takeover due to concerns over its valuation.
The shareholders – Oakcliff Capital Partners, SF Metropolis Valuefund, Investmentaktiengesellschaft für langfristige Investoren TGV, Forest Manor and Bryan Lawrence – have a combined stake of about 22.6 per cent in the Livingston-based company, which last month agreed to a 685p-a-share approach from US infrastructure investor Alinda Capital Partners.
Investors are due to vote on the deal next Thursday, and in a joint statement the group said: “Our collective view is that Energy Assets is a high quality company, with strong growth prospects and an excellent management team. As such, we would prefer to have the opportunity to remain as shareholders for years to come.
“Whilst we acknowledge that the acquisition price of 685p for each Energy Assets Share represents a premium to the market price on the day before the announcement, we do not believe that it represents a true reflection of the fundamental value of Energy Assets.
“To evaluate fully the merits of the acquisition price however, we consider it is critical to all Energy Assets shareholders that they are furnished with more recent financial information than the financial information incorporated into the scheme circular.”
The group has asked Energy Assets, led by chief executive Phil Bellamy-Lee, to publish its results for the year to March or “at a minimum” a “comprehensive” trading update.
“Should Energy Assets not be prepared to do so, we have reached the conclusion that we currently have no option but to vote against the acquisition.”
In response, Energy Assets issued a trading statement showing that it generated total revenues of £45.3m for the 12 months to 31 March, an increase of 25 per cent on the previous year, and it had available facilities and cash at bank totalling £36.2m.
The firm added: “The Energy Assets directors are pleased to report another period of strong trading activity, maintaining a continued pattern of growth across the meter asset management, data services and siteworks divisions, in line with the board’s expectations.”
It also said that shareholders with a combined stake of about 44.6 per cent in the business had already given their backing to its takeover.