Inspired Energy makes first acquisition since joining AIM Market

In November last year, Inspired Energy was admitted to the AIM Market of the London Stock Exchange, and the company has just made its first acquisition since that time. Inspired has made a deal with Direct Energy Purchasing to buy the energy procurement advisory business created by Corin and Tricia Dalby in 1996 for a total of up to £4 million.

Inspired Energy, founded in 2000 by managing director Janet Thornton, has around 460 customers throughout the UK for whom it manages and negotiates approximately 820 gas and electricity supply agreements. Direct Energy currently has 68 customers that include The Original Factory Shop, Kwik-Fix and other high-profile clients for whom it provides advice on energy requirements, with a focus on the retail and healthcare sectors.

According to the company’s announcement, Inspired Energy has raised about £1 million towards the purchase by the placement of around 21.4 million shares, with the balance of an initial £2 million payment to be made from cash reserves. Inspired will make two additional payments of up to £1m each at the end of March 2013 and March 2014, subject to DEP’s financial performance in those time periods.

The two companies have complementary expertise to offer. Inspired Energy works with medium-sized companies, particularly manufacturers, advising them on ways to reduce their energy bills, and generates commission based on the client’s energy consumption. Direct is a commercial energy consultant and broker for multi-site corporations.

Combining the client bases and increasing the diversity of suppliers will benefit all customers, said Inspired Energy Director Thornton, and DEP customers will benefit from increased buying power as well as access to Inspired products and risk management capabilities. The merger fits well, she said, into the overall growth strategy by increasing the company’s client size and geographic reach.