Origin sells metering business for $267m

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Origin Energy has entered into an agreement to sell its metering business, Acumen, for $267 million to intelliHUB, a joint venture between Pacific Equity Partners and Landis+Gyr.

The Acumen business includes the existing management and servicing of an already deployed 170,000 meters and a material, long-term contract with Origin Energy for the rollout of additional smart meters across Australia.

“We are pleased to deliver on our commitment to sell and realise value from Acumen, a business that we’ve grown from scratch over the past eight years to now having more than 170,000 meters under management,” Origin CEO Frank Calabria said.

“A very competitive long-term metering contract with Acumen, enhanced by Landis+Gyr’s global expertise in digital meter technology, deployment and management services, will support our digital-first strategy of using data and insights to enhance the customer experience.”

The intelliHUB business was established by Landis+Gyr in 2015 in preparation for the mass market rollout of smart meters in Australia under new contestability rules.

Earlier this year, the company entered into an exclusive agreement with energy retailer Simply Energy to provide smart metering services to more than 550,000 households across Australia.

By acquiring the Acumen business, the combined entity is poised to rollout a significant proportion of the estimated 8 million smart meters to be deployed across NSW, Queensland, South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory starting immediately.

In parallel with the establishment of the joint venture, intelliHUB has entered into a five-year meter supply contract with Landis+Gyr with expected volumes of approximately 800,000 smart meters to be deployed to multiple utility customers across Australia and New Zealand.

“We have been investing for several years in our products and solutions for Australia and the partnership with intelliHUB will be crucial to giving the Australian market access to the best of our global smart metering products, solutions and services technologies,” Landis+Gyr chief executive officer Richard Mora said.

“With deep international experience and having supplied more than two million of the 2.9 million smart meters in Victoria, Landis+Gyr has deep knowledge of the Australian market and consumer expectations.

“In the Power of Choice market structure, bringing together two industry leaders is an ideal solution to meeting customers’ requirements.

“We are very pleased to have partnered with PEP on this acquisition and we are excited to continue to deliver market leading service across the nation and helping consumers better manage their energy.”

Origin remains able to contract with other parties for deployment and management services for the uncontracted balance of its digital metering requirements.

The sale is expected to complete by the end of June.