Glasgow-based Smart Metering Systems swoops on Welsh rival in £14m takeover deal


Alan Foy, Chief Executive, Smart Metering Services
Alan Foy, Chief Executive, Smart Metering Services

Glasgow-based Smart Metering Systems (SMS) has taken over Utility Partnership (UPL) in a £14 million deal that extends its reach from gas meters into the electricity market.

Based in Wales, UPL is a leading manager of electricity meters in the UK and provider of electricity connections, design, meter installation, data management and energy management services.

In the year ended 31 July 2013, its turnover was £11.1 million, with gross profit of £3.7 million and EBITDA (after exceptional items) of £2 million.

UPL will join the FTSE-listed SMS Group as a new electricity division to be headed by Rhys Wynne, who co-founded UPL in 1996. The enhanced business will operate divisionally from Glasgow (‘Gas‘) and Cardiff (‘Electricity‘, formerly UPL).

A new water division will be established to promote data services in the UK and International water markets

UPL has to date managed and installed over 80,000 electricity meters for the UK’s electricity suppliers and provides energy management services to major banks and telecoms companies.

Alan Foy, Chief Executive, Smart Metering Systems – set up in 1995 – commented: “This acquisition will enable SMS to expand its service offering across the gas and electricity sectors, and the enlarged group will now offer a fully integrated service in these markets.

“It positions SMS as a dual gas and electricity service provider and establishes a base from which we can enhance our existing respective client relationships. It will ensure that SMS is well positioned with suppliers of domestic gas and electricity for the future UK domestic smart metering roll out.

“There is scope to increase our penetration into geographic markets through UPL’s energy management propositions already established in Italy and the Caribbean and our own ADM™ device, which is currently undergoing trials in five different countries.”

Meanwhile, SMS has appointed former Scottish Power ‘meter king’ Willie MacDiarmid as a non-executive director.  

As a member of the Scottish Power managment team, he successfully led ScottishPower through the deregulation of the UK energy market and served on their investment committee, as well as being involved in various mergers and acquisitions. Scottish Power’s successful metering business was part of his portfolio.

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