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US investor swoops to take Scottish energy firm private for £1.3bn

SMS is set to leave the London Stock Exchange's AIM market through a takeover by KKR
Image credit: Mehaniq / Shutterstock.com

A US private equity firm has moved to acquire Glasgow-based Smart Metering Systems (SMS) for £1.3bn in a deal that would delist the energy infrastructure company from London’s public markets.

The boards of KKR and Smart Metering Systems said on Thursday that they had reached an agreement on the terms, which values each SMS share at 955 pence in cash.

SMS was incorporated in October 2009 and listed on the AIM market in July 2011.

It provides services for smart metering and other carbon reduction initiatives, including installation and maintenance.

“KKR believes that SMS is a business of high quality, with a best-in-class management team and long-term, contracted and inflation-protected cashflow streams,” KKR said in a market update. “The business has the potential to substantially contribute to and enable the energy transition.”

If the deal proceeds it would mark another blow for the London Stock Exchange, which has struggled to attract and retain companies this year. Earlier this week, travel firm Tui said it is considering quitting the London Stock Exchange in favour of a listing in Frankfurt.

The chief executive of stock trading app Plus500 said in August that the attitude of New York investors compared with London has made the company consider switch to a US listing.

Other tech firms have opted for the US to list, including British semiconductor firms Arm and Imagination Technologies.

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