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Final Bidders in Origins Metering Unit

Private equity firm KKR & Co and Australian government owned power infrastructure company Ausgrid are reported to have emerged as the final two bidders for Origin Energy’s metering unit – Acumen Metering – with both contenders slated to submit the bid for the asset next week.

According to a report from The Australian last week, the bids from KKR and Ausgrid will be submitted by Wednesday. Bank of America Merrill Lynch has been appointed to manage sales process, the report added. Acumen Metering that delivers metering services for its commercial and industrial customers and is expected to be priced at $156.3 million (A$200 million), based on the report.

It may be interesting to note that Macquarie Group has an financial arrangement with Acumen Metereing for funding, but is not been seen as a bidder for the metering business. Macquarie funds the smart meter segment in the UK and also claims to be the biggest independent meter funder in Australia. The sale of Acumen Metering has come at the same time as that of AGL’s Active Stream which had piqued interest from high profile investors like New Zealand-based Vector, Macquarie and KKR’s Calvin Capital.

Active Stream’s sale is being run by boutique firm Ironstone Capital according to a report from AFR, and the business could be valued at $78.19 million (A$100 million). The two exits for smart metering units is amid a backdrop of market reforms that are set to kick in from December this year in the Australian market outside Victoria. The reforms will see the introduction of some standards that could see new players finding an entry in the market for beefing up the use of smart meters. If Victoria is excluded, Australia has about 10 million meters.

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