Pacific Equity Partners acquires smart metering business

The $202m acquisition of Origin Energy’s Acumen marks the Australian firm’s first investment through SAF, a vehicle it is currently raising, and the launch of a new JV with Landis+Gyr.

Sydney-based private equity firm Pacific Equity Partners has made its first investment through its Secure Assets Fund, acquiring Origin Energy’s smart metering business, Acumen, for A$267 million ($201.7 million; €172.2 million).

The deal is expected to close by the end of June and will also create a new joint venture between PEP and Landis+Gyr, a Swiss-listed energy management company.

“On completion of the sale, intelliHUB will comprise Acumen and Landis+Gyr’s existing Australian meter service activities,” Australia-listed Origin Energy, said in a statement, referring to the joint venture. It also noted that it has grown Acumen from scratch over the past eight years to more than 170,000 meters currently under management. Origin Energy said it will continue to deploy and manage the meters for its electricity customers under a long-term agreement.

The extent of activities Landis+Gyr maintains in Australia was unclear and the company had not responded to a request for comment by the time of publication.

PEP is financing the acquisition through SAF, which it is in the process of raising. Earlier this month, Infrastructure Investor reported the private equity firm is expecting to reach a first close on approximately A$400 million in the coming months.

The vehicle, according to PEP, is a dedicated fund focused on opportunities in Australia and New Zealand across infrastructure sectors featuring a combination of secure and predictable revenue streams as well as compelling growth and operational enhancement opportunities.

While PEP, which has assets under management totalling A$2.5 billion, has been investing in Australia and other countries since 1998, the Secure Assets Fund is the first vehicle dedicated to the infrastructure sector. PEP’s current portfolio includes Australian bakery ingredients giant Allied Pinnacle, consumer healthcare company iNova Pharmaceuticals, and health products firm Manuka Health.

PEP was not immediately available for comment.