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Utiligroup bought by US investor as UK energy market prepares for intervention

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Energy technology provider Utiligroup has been bought up by US investment firm Accel-KKR as the company seeks to enter the competitive European market and make its presence felt in the UK.

The Chorley-based company develops Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions to enable energy utilities and suppliers to enter the market and take on the largest existing competitors.

It has been bought through Accel-KKR’s existing provider of retail energy SaaS solutions Energy Services Group (ESG), which operates in the US, Canada and Japan, with the intention of bolstering the US firm’s global presence, particularly in Europe.

Matthew Hirst, chief executive at Utiligroup, said: “We have now established ourselves as a true leader in the market, helping a growing range of diverse energy and utility companies to operate more efficiently through a combination of automated software, managed services and analytics.

“The latest acquisition provides a huge opportunity for Utiligroup to be recognised on a global stage and we’re excited about the next phase of growth with Accel-KKR and ESG.”

Phil Galati, chief executive of ESG, added: “We are very excited to join forces with Utiligroup. Together we are committed to making our clients successful in expanding energy choice and enabling consumers and businesses around the world to have greater control of their energy consumption.

The combination is intended to offer local and global energy market players to offer business and residential customers greater energy choice and more control of consumption at a time when the UK energy market is poised for intervention by government.

An investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) found that SMEs had been overcharged for their gas and electricity by as much as £280 million a year between 2007 and 2014 by Big Six suppliers.

Due to these findings, government ministers are expected to take action with secretary of state for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Greg Clark earlier today claiming the government was planning “very decisive action” against prices that are deemed to be difficult to justify.

He added that the government’s upcoming response to the CMA report would be “muscular and strong”.

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