Acquisition of Proxiserve named year's top utility transaction

18 December 2019 3 min. read

The acquisition of French group Proxiserve – a deal advised on by Emerton and KPMG – for a reported €720 million has been named Europe’s utility transaction of the year at the IJInvestor Awards 2019. 

The competition recognises the performances of companies, projects and individuals in the area of asset management and mergers & acquisitions, with a dedicated focus on the energy and infrastructure sectors. Organised for the first time this year, the IJInvestor Awards were held at the end of November in the historic royal palace of Banqueting House in Whitehall. 

“The objective of the awards is to highlight and celebrate the work of those, often overlooked by others, that faciliate vital investments in global infrastructure,” said Angus Leslie Melville from IJInvestor. 

One of the night’s winners was the deal between investors Asterion plus Mirova and Proxiserve, a leading French group in sub-metering and energy services. The two investors teamed up with Proxiserve’s management to acquire a majority stake in the company, on the belief that Proxiserve faces a rosy outlook. 

Acquisition of Proxiserve named year's top utility transaction

Proxiserve is currently a leader in France’s market for heat and water smart metering – a segment set for strong growth in the coming years, as suppliers tap smart meters to optimise their maintenance processes while simultaneously offering consumers several added benefits. 

In the eyes of Asterion, “The investment in Proxiserve combines strong downside protection from its core submetering business with very attractive growth prospects resulting from the opportunity to develop further synergies for a smart energy home offering and multi-services for heating, plumbing and metering. Furthermore, Proxiserve is ideally placed to take advantage of the evolving trends around energy efficiency and increasing applications within the smart home.”

Headquartered in Madrid and with presence in London and Paris, Asterion’s team is comprised of 15 professionals. The investment in Proxiserve was funded from its infrastructure fund, which raised nearly €1 billion from investors prior to launching, making it according to PitchBook one of the biggest first-time infrastructure vehicles to be raised in Europe.

Mirova is a Paris-based private equity group with €12.2 billion of asset under management, of which €2.5 billion is in infrastructure-related portfolio companies. According to the firm’s website, all of its investments are aligned to goals outlined in the Paris Climate Agreement (2 degrees trajectory) and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The pair of buyers were advised during the transaction by experts from strategic consultancy Emerton (strategic due diligence), the Corporate Finance arm of KPMG (M&A advisory and transaction services), XK Corporate Finance (a boutique French M&A consultancy founded by former KPMG partner Alain Pichot), Eight Advisory (transactions services) and DLA Piper (legal advice). 

Seller Proxiserve received support from Natixis Partners (investment banking), Sycomore Corporate Finance (M&A advisory) and Clearly Gottlieb (legal advisory).