Spark Energy MBO nears completion

Spark Energy MBO nears completion

The management buyout of Spark Energy, a niche energy supplier for lettings and social housing sectors, is close to completion.

Led by CEO Chris Gauld, who has held a senior position in the Scottish Borders-bases company since its launch in 2007, and CFO Hamish Osborn, the buyout is also being backed by four large institutional investors, including a major UK pension fund, a European family office and a Middle Eastern investment bank.

The backing from major investors is expected to increase access growth to capital, and see Spark’s original and current shareholders realising a return on their investments, with the business currently on course to deliver turnover of £125m in the year ending June 2016.

Spark Energy CEO Chris Gauld said: "This is the natural next phase in Spark’s evolution. Whilst we can be proud of our achievements so far, we have big plans for an exciting future.

“The new institutional backers have the extra financial strength and experience to enable us to fund and accelerate the next steps in our ambitious plans, and to realise our full potential.

“Our current investors have always been incredibly supportive of the business and helped management achieve better outcomes for customers, staff and our other stakeholders by providing extra capital as the business grew.

“We are confident that this deal will go through and excited about the opportunities ahead of us. We have plans to diversify our offer, to invest further in customer experience and to consider acquisitions and technology that serve to improve our performance and the convenience we offer to the tenants, landlords, agents and social bodies we serve.

"Spark's success owes much to our vibrant team of 350 staff, who live mostly near our Selkirk headquarters. I can assure them that our future lies firmly in the Borders, and that we will be looking to build our team in the months and years to come.

Spark Energy chairman Sir Timothy Noble added: "If, as expected, the proposals are accepted, I will depart my role at Spark with great pride in what we have achieved together, and with pleasure that my fellow shareholders will have been rewarded for the confidence and courage they showed in supporting this company.

“When the business was founded in 2007, Spark was merely a concept with the aim of becoming a challenger brand in an industry completely dominated by the Big Six providers, and which has a regulatory environment so complex that it makes life very difficult for new entrants.

"The success of Spark Energy is a fine example of angel investment in action. Without the support of so many private individuals and Scottish Enterprise, who together invested more than £15m over a period of years, companies such as Spark would not be able to get off the ground, as the banks and other institutions are not prepared to provide such risky finance.”


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