Brookfield in Talks to Buy Australia Smart Meter Firm Intellihub Stake
(Bloomberg) -- Brookfield Asset Management is in talks for a deal to acquire a stake in Australian energy metering business Intellihub Group, according to people familiar with the matter.
The private equity firm is the likely winner of an auction to buy an interest in the residential energy metering firm from its existing Australian backers Pacific Equity Partners, the people said. A deal could be announced as soon as this week, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified discussing the matter as it is confidential. Intellihub could fetch an enterprise value of about A$3 billion ($2.1 billion) in a deal, one of the other people said.
Brookfield’s advanced talks were first reported by the Australian Financial Review. Deliberations are ongoing and could fall apart, the people said.
A deal would mark another bet on energy infrastructure by the Canadian firm after it announced a A$10.2 billion deal for Australian electricity transmission business AusNet Services Ltd. last month.
Together, the two Australian deals are set to make Brookfield one of the most aggressive investors globally in the transition to new energy forms across all sectors of the economy. Earlier this month, the asset manager said it now expects to raise more than $15 billion for its new impact fund, exceeding a previous forecast of $12.5 billion.
As well as helping homes and businesses control power usage, Intellihub’s meters provide data to electricity network operators to assist managing peak demand. It has more than 1 million meters and 1.7 million deployments in its pipeline, it said in a press release. In November, banks including Societe Generale SA and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. helped arrange a A$1.45 billion loan to the business.
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