Lakehouse has bought the entire share capital of Orchard (Holdings) UK for an initial £7m. A further payment of £3m might be made, depending on performance over the next two years.
Orchard provides advice to corporate clients in managing energy costs, particularly energy procurement and usage. In addition, Orchard provides energy management services to commercial and industrial customers, including brokering supply with utilities firms, managing contracts and advising on energy consumption. It has 78 staff and is based in Leeds, with offices in Glasgow, Bristol, Newcastle and Northampton.
Orchard was founded in 2004 and was principally owned by Gareth and Rachel Henderson. Lakehouse said that Gareth Henderson and the management team were staying with the business.
Lakehouse said that the acquisition “provides further opportunities for the cross-selling of services, opening up Lakehouse's existing offering to Orchard's commercial customers and enabling the introduction of energy brokerage services to Lakehouse's large housing association and local authority customers”.
In the financial year ended 31st August 2014, Orchard reported a turnover from continuing activities of £5m and profit before tax of £880,000.
Lakehouse executive chairman Stuart Black 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."