LDC windfall as private equity group sells the Matrix to E.ON

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GERMAN energy giant E.ON will buy Northern-based commercial energy management business Matrix in a deal which will generate a windfall for its backers.

The agreement also covers the purchase of Green Sky Energy, the parent company of Manchester-based Matrix, which has an office in Leeds.

The transaction, which is expected to close in the coming weeks, provides an exit for mid-market private equity firm LDC, which invested £10m for a “significant” stake in the business as part of a buyout in March 2010. The financial details of its exit were not disclosed

LDC, which has a Leeds base, said that revenues at Matrix have more than doubled from £25m in 2010 to £54m in 2012. It said that the business has moved from a traditional building controls company into an integrated energy management services provider.

Matrix operates nine regional offices in the UK as well as an advanced energy management centre in Glasgow, and supports customers in 22 countries around the world. It will continue to operate under the Matrix brand as a standalone entity in E.ON Connecting Energies, a new global unit of E.ON.

Herve Touati, CEO of E.ON Connecting Energies, said “This transaction is an important strategic move for us, allowing us to expand our position in the fast-growing energy efficiency market.

“It adds a sophisticated, innovative offering to our existing services portfolio. We see tremendous opportunities from the combination of Matrix’s deep data-led building energy expertise with our capital-led energy efficiency and on-site generation capabilities.”

Ian Kelly, CEO of Matrix, said the deal was “an excellent outcome for employees and customers”. Matrix employs 340 people.

DWF provided legal advice to LDC, while Leeds-based Chris Cormack of MaxAim also advised. The agreement is subject to Austrian merger control clearance.