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Energy Exemplar lays out PE-supported acquisition strategy – CEO

Energy Exemplar, an Adelaide, Australia-headquartered energy solutions software firm that is sponsored by Blackstone [NYSE:BX] and Vista Equity Partners, aims to make further acquisitions to add specific markets or capabilities to its product offering, the company’s CEO David Wilson told this news service.

The broad focus of acquisitions will be targets focused on helping clients to navigate energy transition with decision-making and analytics support, Wilson said. The company is continuing to build end-to-end solutions for its clients and M&A would be a potential lever to accelerate that capability, he added.

More specifically, the M&A strategy will focus on targets that have “regional capabilities in addressing a distinctive market,” as well as companies “where technological expertise would bring distinctive capabilities onboard,” he added.

The company’s acquisition strategy is part of a “full suite” of growth plans, though, with the other important pillar being organic growth, the CEO said.

Energy Exemplar last month acquired Adapt2 Solutions, a cutting-edge provider of power market solutions, for an undisclosed amount. This was a good example of a trading and communications target within its spectrum of potential acquisitions, Wilson said.

Energy Exemplar also strengthened its experience of M&A through the recent exit process that saw its former owner, The Riverside Company, selling the company to Blackstone and Vista, he said. The company management spoke to several private equity players prior to the exit and therefore created dialogue in the industry on energy transition and on servicing the market, he noted.

Riverside agreed in October 2023 to sell Energy Exemplar to Blackstone and Vista and the process was completed in May. As per various reports, the acquisition price was AUD 1.6bn (USD 1.06bn) and each sponsor took 50% under the new ownership structure.

Blackstone has pumped more than USD 21bn of capital into the energy industry via Blackstone Energy Transition Partners, while Vista had some USD 101bn in assets under management at the end of last year.

Asked about acquisition financing, Wilson said the company’s new sponsors are very visionary and willing to “invest on both organic and non-organic growth”. Acquisition size and financing would be on a case-by-case basis, he said, noting that the target geography is global.

A potential acquisition target will need to provide a distinctive fit with Energy Exemplar’s product, portfolio and client needs, and match with its overall culture, Wilson added.

Energy Exemplar has been well positioned in a market where there used to be several fragmented systems. “As the industry has evolved, there is effectively a single system and we’re focused on building out the capabilities for users to build upon this globally, understanding the interplay of how each of the segments interact now and, in the future,” Wilson said.

Exemplar’s key product PLEXOS enables end-to-end solutions for more than 500 clients across over 80 countries. The product is one of the fastest-growing integrated modeling and simulation solutions across the entire energy lifecycle, including power market assets, the company claims on its website.

The company’s product strategy spans from the present to a forward-looking vision of industry needs for the next 50 years via integrated solutions, Wilson claimed.