Energy broker Lakehouse adds Orchard for £7m

Gareth Henderson
Gareth Henderson

Lakehouse, the asset and energy support services group, has acquired Yorkshire-based Orchard for an initial cash consideration of £7m.

The UK energy broker and energy management services provider said the acquisition further expands the group’s energy services division’s broad, nationwide offering.

Orchard provides advice to corporate clients in relation to managing their energy costs, particularly energy procurement and usage.

It also provides energy management services to commercial and industrial customers, including brokering supply with utilities firms, managing contracts and advising on energy consumption. Orchard employs 78 staff and is based in Elland, West Yorkshire, with offices in Glasgow, Bristol, Newcastle and Northampton.

It was founded in 2004 and was principally owned by Gareth and Rachel Henderson.

Following completion of the acquisition, Mr Henderson and the management team will remain with the business.

As a result of the transaction, Lakehouse’s total headcount will rise to approximately 1,400.

Lakehouse said the acquisition will enhance its existing offering to social housing clients in addressing the challenge of fuel poverty.

The Government’s fuel poverty strategy for England has set a target of achieving an energy efficiency standard of Band C for as many fuel poor homes as reasonably practicable by 2030.

The group’s energy services division currently combines insulation and thermal efficiency services, renewable technology expertise and a smart metering specialism and the acquisition of Orchard extends the service offering to support clients in enhancing the effectiveness of their energy procurement and usage.

In the financial year ended 31 August 2014, Orchard reported a turnovers of £4.99m and profit before tax of £0.88m.

Stuart Black, executive chairman of Lakehouse, said:

“Following our successful initial public offering earlier this year, this acquisition further endorses our strategy of acquiring and integrating businesses which expand our service offering and geographical reach.

“Orchard’s strong client base, excellent relationships with utilities firms and market-leading customer service open up new opportunities for growth in the energy services market.

“Bringing together energy efficiency, water management and smart metering expertise alongside Orchard’s brokering service, the group’s energy services division offers an increasingly broad, national proposition to clients looking to manage their energy usage and meet challenging carbon savings targets.”

Gareth Henderson, founder and managing director of Orchard, said: “We are delighted to be joining the group and supporting the continued growth of the businesses.

“Becoming part of Lakehouse allows us to offer an extended range of services to our existing customer base, as well as strengthening our mutual relationships with the major utilities firms.

“This leaves us well placed to build on our exceptional customer service record and to keep helping customers manage their energy costs.”