Skipton firm becomes part of Australian listed technology company in £6.4m deal

Christopher Archer

Skipton-headquartered energy management software business Optima Energy Systems (Optima) has been acquired in a £6.4m deal by the Australian technology firm BidEnergy, with offices in Australia, the US and the UK.

Advised by the corporate finance team at specialist business advisory firm FRP, the acquisition will see Australian-listed firm BidEnergy expand its presence in the UK. Managing director and Optima Energy Systems founder Steve Wright will remain with the business alongside its management team.

The deal is expected to support BidEnergy’s expansion plans in Europe, with the business earmarking UK opportunities for growth. The utilities bill solutions provider is looking to benefit from access to Optima’s market leading technology and customer base in the UK.

Founded in 1988, Optima provides advanced software to help large end users and energy consultants analyse and manage energy data and usage. Its shareholders were advised by Chris Archer and Greg Carr at FRP in Leeds and Paul Johnson and Emma Wilson of the Leeds office at Mills & Reeve.

Steve Wright, managing director at Optima, said: “BidEnergy is a natural home for the Optima business going forward.  We share a customer focused ethos of delivering innovative software solutions and the combined business will have a global presence to deliver a market leading platform for all aspects of Utility Bill Management and Carbon & Sustainability reporting.

“I’m looking forward to working with the BidEnergy team as we move into 2021 and beyond.”

Chris Archer, at FRP, said: “Steve and the Optima team are a great example of the entrepreneurial spirit that is alive and well in Yorkshire. The UK represents a concentrated energy market five times larger than Australia’s, making the business an ideal candidate for an international buyer like BidEnergy.

“Confidence is evident in the M&A market in Q4 2020 and it will be no surprise to see increased appetite among overseas investors looking to tap into the outstanding digital credentials of businesses here in Yorkshire and the wider north. We wish Steve, Optima and BidEnergy every success as a combined group.”


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