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KKR buys UK smart meter roll-out firm

KKR has bought Calvin Capital from Infracapital, which has owned it since 2007 and helped put in place £1bn in funding for it only a year ago.

Global investment firm KKR has agreed to buy UK-based gas and electricity meter provider Calvin Capital from Infracapital.

Calvin Capital is one of the leading companies in the UK government’s plan to install smart meters in every home and business by 2020, with the firm set to install seven million of the devices as part of the roll-out.

Infracapital first invested in Calvin Capital in 2007, acquiring 35.5 percent of the company before taking full control in 2010. Last December, Infracapital committed further funds to Calvin Capital alongside the EIB, Barclays, Crédit Agricole, HSBC, Santander, SMBC and the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ in a funding programme which reached £1 billion ($1.3 billion; €1.2 billion).

At the time, Infracapital, the infrastructure investment arm of Prudential, said it views the “smart meter market as a very attractive opportunity and this latest investment reflects our ongoing commitment to the space”.

A source close to the deal told Infrastructure Investor that having owned Calvin Capital since 2007, Infracapital believed the time to be right to pass on the company to KKR.

Despite Calvin Capital’s fundraising last year to help with the £11 billion smart meter roll-out, the programme has experienced several delays. Communications infrastructure expected to link the smart meters and the energy suppliers was originally scheduled to be installed last year, but after being pushed back a year, the project has still not been carried out.