Equitix Investment Management has agreed to acquire Maple TopCo, a London, UK-based smart-metering business. No financial terms were released for the deal, which is expected to close in Q4 2020. The seller is MapleCo’s founding consortium, consisting of an affiliate of OMERS Infrastrucure, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board and SSE. Founded in 2017, MapleCo funded the installation of more than 1.6 million smart meters in the UK.
MapleCo to Be Purchased by Equitix, Founding Consortium Announces
(London, September 23, 2020) OMERS wholly owned subsidiary, Borealis Smart Holdings BV, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board (“Ontario Teachers’”), and SSE plc (“SSE”), the founding shareholders behind Maple TopCo Limited (“MapleCo”), the smart-metering business that has funded the installation of more than 1.6 million smart meters across the UK, today announced the signing of an agreement for the sale of a 100% equity interest in the company to funds managed by Equitix Investment Management Limited (“Equitix”).
Created in 2017, MapleCo now ranks as one of the UK’s largest Meter Asset Provider (“MAP”) by contracted meters. MapleCo funds the procurement and installation of electricity and gas meters, in return for fixed payments under long-term agreements with energy suppliers. MapleCo’s smart meters are essential for the provision of accurate data to both consumers and suppliers, enabling improved customer service, power grid management and innovation in the energy market.
In a joint statement, MapleCo’s founding partners said:
“We are proud of MapleCo’s achievements since its establishment in 2017. Working with reputable industry partners such as OVO Energy, the business has experienced significant growth and is now one of the UK’s leading Meter Asset Providers. Today, MapleCo is a critical part of the UK’s energy infrastructure, supporting the green energy transition and helping advance the UK government’s policy goals.
“We are pleased that MapleCo will be acquired by Equitix, and are confident that the company will continue to deliver on its strong contracted pipeline and long-term growth ambitions across the metering and wider energy services markets,” the partners added.
Achal Bhuwania, Deputy Chief Investment Officer for Equitix, said: “We are delighted to be acquiring MapleCo and keen to deliver its next phase of growth. This acquisition furthers our participation in the UK smart metering programme which aligns with our business objectives of investing in the country’s sustainable energy transition initiatives.”
Closing of the transaction is expected in Q4 2020.
The founding consortium was advised by DC Advisory and Allen & Overy LLP, Equitix was advised by Investec Bank Plc, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP and Ashurst LLP.
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About OMERS and OMERS Infrastructure:
OMERS Infrastructure manages investments globally in infrastructure on behalf of OMERS, the defined benefit pension plan for municipal employees in the Province of Ontario, Canada. Investments are aimed at steady returns to help deliver sustainable, affordable and meaningful pensions to OMERS members.
OMERS diversified portfolio of large-scale infrastructure assets exhibits stability and strong cash flows, in sectors including energy, transportation and government-regulated services. OMERS has employees in Toronto and other major cities across North America, the U.K., Continental Europe, Asia and Australia. OMERS is one of Canada’s largest defined benefit pension funds with net assets of C$109 billion. More info: www.omersinfrastructure.com
About Ontario Teachers’
The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board (Ontario Teachers’) is the administrator of Canada’s largest single-profession pension plan, with $204.7 billion in net assets (all figures at June 30, 2020 unless noted). It holds a diverse global portfolio of assets, approximately 80% of which is managed in-house, and has earned an annual total-fund net return of 9.5% since the plan’s founding in 1990. Ontario Teachers’ is an independent organization headquartered in Toronto. Its Asia-Pacific region office is located in Hong Kong and its Europe, Middle East & Africa region office is in London. The defined-benefit plan, which is fully funded as at January 1, 2020, invests and administers the pensions of the province of Ontario’s 329,000 active and retired teachers. For more information, visit otpp.com and follow us on Twitter @OtppInfo.
SSE is the leading generator of renewable electricity in the UK and Ireland, providing energy needed today while building a better world of energy for tomorrow. It develops and operates low-carbon infrastructure supporting the net zero transition, including onshore and offshore wind, hydro power, electricity transmission and distribution grids, efficient gas and energy from waste, alongside providing energy products and services for businesses. UK listed, SSE is a major contributor to the UK and Ireland economies, employs 12,000 people and is real Living Wage and Fair Tax Mark accredited.
MapleCo is a leading Meter Asset Provider in the UK, focused on the Government mandated roll-out of domestic smart meters. It was established in 2017 by OMERS, Ontario Teachers’ and SSE, and as at March 2020 it had an asset base of over 1.6 million installed meters.
Founded in 2007 and headquartered in London, Equitix is a leading infrastructure investment firm that manages over £6 billion on behalf of long term investors, including a large proportion of UK pension funds. We manage six core infrastructure flagship funds, 15 co-investment funds which are dedicated to larger infrastructure projects, and a number of segregated managed accounts providing customized solutions. Our investment strategy focuses on core infrastructure projects, predominantly located in the UK and covering a wide range of sectors with a particular focus on social infrastructure, transportation, regulated utilities and renewables. Across all of our core funds, we seek to hold assets for the life of the fund, which is typically 25 years. We have acquired over 280 core infrastructure projects since our inception, thereby establishing a strong reputation as a trusted partner, operator and fiduciary fund manager.