UK Power Reserve sold to Sembcorp for £216 million

Exit follows revenue and headcount rise since 2015.

Private equity firms Equistone and Inflexion have sold power generation firm UK Power Reserve to Singapore-based energy group Sembcorp for £216 million.

Since UK Power Reserve, a Solihull-based company, received joint investment from the private equity company’s in December 2015 it has grown its revenue from £20 million to over £80 million and has more than doubled its employees from 70 to 150.

Growing need for back-up power

UK Power Reserve was founded in 2010 to take advantage of growing demand for reserve power in times of critical need and now has enough capacity to power 375,000 homes-power delivered from 500 megawatts (MW) worth of electricity.

Tim Emrich, co-founder and outgoing CEO of UK Power Reserve said, ‘The strategic direction from Equistone and Inflexion has been instrumental in supporting the significant growth of UK Power Reserve which is now very well positioned for future growth as part of Sembcorp.’

Sembcorp now expects the company’s capacity to nearly double to 980MW by next year to turn it into of the most sizeable portfolios in Europe.

See more: The essential guide to raising private equity

Renewable energy growing in the UK

Low carbon, renewable power in the UK has been growing for several years, following binding carbon targets that the UK government have signed. Theresa May put green growth at the centre of the government’s economic strategy in October 2017 and has carbon cut targets in 2025 and 2030. However, renewable energy such as solar and wind power is considered less reliable than nuclear power, which a possible reason why back up power is in more demand.

Simon Turner, managing partner at Inflexion, commented, ‘Changing market dynamics posed an opportunity for the business to scale, and we were well placed to assist them with this.’

Nomi Ahmad, head of Sembcorp’s UK utilities business said, ‘UK Power Reserve’s and Sembcorp’s existing Teesside business will form a strong integrated energy business in the UK, combining centralised services at Wilton with multiple flexible assets across the country along with expertise across the full spectrum of UK energy markets.’

Following the acquisition of shares, Sembcorp will consolidate all assets and liabilities of UK Power Reserve, including its net debt.

Equistone and Inflexion were advised by RBC corporate finance and legal firm Addleshaw Goddard.

Further reading on exits

Should entrepreneurs launch a start-up with an ‘exit’ as their main aim?

Michael Somerville

Michael Somerville

Michael was senior reporter for from 2018 to 2019.