Brookfield acquires major stake in Intellihub

The Canadian firm is acquiring a 50% stake in the Australian and New Zealand based smart metering business in a deal that will see Brookfield co-own Intellihub with Sydney-based Pacific Equity Partners.

Brookfield Asset Management is set to acquire a 50 percent stake in Australian and New Zealand based smart metering business Intellihub.

The deal will see the Canadian firm become a 50:50 joint venture partner with Pacific Equity Partners. As part of the transaction, which is expected to close in April 2022, the firm will acquire Switzerland-listed energy management company Landis+Gyr’s interest in the business.

Infrastructure Investor understands Brookfield paid roughly A$1 billion ($711 million; €631 million) for the stake, valuing the business at an equity value of approximately A$2 billion. Intellihub’s enterprise value is understood to be around A$3 billion.

The firm is reported to have beaten off competition from BlackRock, Morrison & Co and Stonepeak Infrastructure for the major stake.

In a statement, Brookfield managing director of infrastructure Ray Neill said: “We see Intellihub as a highly complementary business to our local and global utility infrastructure investments. We are delighted to become co-owners with PEP in a business that plays a key role in our increasingly complex and digitised energy markets.”

Intellihub was formed after Sydney-based PEP simultaneously acquired subsidiary businesses in 2018 from Australian energy retailer Origin Energy and Landis+Gyr, via PEP’s Secure Assets Fund. Soon afterwards, the firm acquired New Zealand smart metering business Metrix – the smart metering arm of Mercury NZ Limited – and merged the businesses to form Intellihub Group.

The group provides smart meters to more than 30 utility retailers across Australia and New Zealand, including Origin Energy, and currently has more than one million meters and 1.7 million deployments in its pipeline.

In a statement, PEP managing director Evan Hattersley said: “We… are pleased to retain a meaningful exposure to the fast-growing Australasian market for smart energy management as co-investors alongside a global partner in Brookfield.

“Intellihub will benefit from Brookfield’s global expertise and its complementary and growing investments in the Australasian energy and infrastructure sectors.”

Intellihub chief executive Wes Ballantine added: “Intellihub’s new strategic relationship with Brookfield will provide additional access to expertise and capital to keep Intellihub at the forefront of Australia’s energy transition as a service provider and innovator.”