NorthEdge powers up with energy tech acquisition

Mid-market private equity firm NorthEdge has acquired Birmingham-based Correla, a technology and data services business aimed at the sustainable energy centre.

The acquisition will see NorthEdge acquire Correla, following the divestment of the subsidiary by the Gas Industry’s Central Data Service provider Xoserve. The divestment will see Xoserve become a specialised contract management and assurance company as part of a restructure of its existing operations.

Correla will continue to deliver services back to Xoserve through a commercial contract.

The deal will see Correla invest in its data platforms and expand into alternative energy markets through organic growth – alongside the potential for acquisitions.

The investment is the first out of NorthEdge’s newly raised £250m Fund III, which closed in December 2020. This, in conjunction with SME Fund I, gives the firm £370m of funds to invest in high growth businesses.

Jon Pickering and Andrew Skinner led the investment, supported by James Marshall, Kevin O’Loughlin and George Potts. Pickering and Skinner will join the Correla board, alongside Ian Kelly as non-executive chair. Kelly, chair of NorthEdge portfolio company Cloud Technology Solutions, brings with him a wealth of private equity experience, as well as significant experience in the energy sector – most recently alongside NorthEdge at Utiligroup.

Sian Jones said: “The UK has an incredible task ahead to meet its decarbonisation targets and we’re committed to supporting customers every step of the way. NorthEdge’s acquisition has come at a critical time for us as we look to develop new products, services and technologies that will remove complexity from the market and unlock operating models that better support the UK’s energy transition.

“NorthEdge’s values and objectives align with the sustainability needs and requirements of the team at Correla and the wider UK energy market. This, alongside their commitment to Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG), as well as their experience of backing businesses in the energy and utilities software and services industry, proved to us that they were the right partner to support us on this exciting journey.”

Skinner added: “Correla is already an integral service partner to stakeholders in the UK gas network, and we’re excited to support the team to enhance that performance. We have been investing in the energy and utilities sector for more than 10 years, and therefore understand first-hand how data has transformed the market and the role it will play in the transition to net zero. We believe that our experience of the sector, alongside our regional approach and investment style means that we are uniquely placed to meet the requirements of both Correla and Xoserve.

“We are extremely pleased to have Correla join our growing portfolio and look forward to working with Sian and the rest of the Correla management team to grow the business together – investing in people, products and innovation.”

NorthEdge was advised by Sarah Taylor and Ian Birch, PwC (corporate finance & commercial due diligence), Tom Durrant, Gateley (legal), BDO (financial due diligence) and Crosslake (tech due diligence).

Xoserve and Correla were advised by Khush Purewal, Taj Lalli and Callum Shields, KPMG (corporate finance). Xoserve was advised by Richard Brown and Jonathan Walters, Travers Smith (legal).

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