SSE Contracting sold to Aurelius in £27.5m deal
Almost 2,000 workers will switch to new employer
SSE, the Perth-based energy group, is selling one of the UK’s biggest contracting businesses, to the Aurelius Group in a deal with an enterprise value of £27.5m.
The planned disposal, announced in a statement to the stock market this afternoon, will see 1,900 employees switch to the new owner.
It is part of SSE’s strategy to focus on its core networks and renewables businesses, supported by businesses clearly complementary to that core.
The company said it is also designed to give contracting a strong platform for future success outwith SSE.
SSE Contracting provides mechanical, electrical and street lighting services. It is the largest street light contractor in the UK and its HV (high voltage) engineers install energy infrastructure for clients including schools, hospitals and substations. Its rail division delivers mechanical, electrical and civils activity for the likes of Transport for London and Network Rail.
The sale process is expected to be completed by the end of June.
Gregor Alexander, SSE’s finance director, said: “Aurelius has a proven record of actively supporting the companies they work with, so this change of ownership should provide a good home for the contracting business.
“It leaves the SSE group more focused around its renewables and networks core, allowing the contracting business to thrive in an environment better suited to its ambitions.”
Tristan Nagler, UK managing director of Aurelius, said: “As other sellers before, SSE recognised Aurelius to be the partner of choice to execute the divestment of a promising business unit, establishing SSE Contracting as a standalone business so it can fully take advantage of new growth opportunities.”
Certain defined benefits pension liabilities of SSE Contracting, relating to 91 employees, will remain with SSE as part of the transaction under a Managed Service Agreement.
There will be no immediate impact on customers after completion; the SSE brand will be operated by SSEC under licence for a period, allowing time for a phased and carefully managed migration and continued high standards of customer service.
SSE and Aurelius will put in place appropriate security arrangements to support any ongoing guarantor provisions that are in place for PFI Street lighting agreements.
PwC Corporate Finance acted as lead financial advisor to SSE throughout the transaction and PwC Transaction Services provided vendor assistance services.