Wednesday 16 August 2017

Mitsubishi takes 60pc stake in Irish energy trading company

Ronan Doherty, ceo, ElectroRoute; Atsushi Suzuki, head of the power business planning office, Mitsubishi; and Niamh Troy, an energy analyst at ElectroRoute. Photo: Andres Poveda
Ronan Doherty, ceo, ElectroRoute; Atsushi Suzuki, head of the power business planning office, Mitsubishi; and Niamh Troy, an energy analyst at ElectroRoute. Photo: Andres Poveda
Michael Cogley

Michael Cogley

japanese industrial giant Mitsubishi has taken a majority stake in Irish energy trading firm ElectroRoute.

ElectroRoute's senior founding management team will stay in place, including chief executive Ronan Doherty, after Mitsubishi takes a 60pc stake.

The Irish company, which has grown from four employees in 2011 to 40 today, now plans to open its first offices abroad, thanks to the backing of Mitsubishi.

The Irish business trades energy across spot trading, futures trading, cross-border trading and green certificates trading.

It also provides managed trading services to clients, giving them access to pan-European markets. It currently has over 600 megawatts of assets under management.

ElectroRoute has a presence in energy markets in Ireland, UK, Netherlands, France, Italy, Germany, and Spain.

Mitsubishi Corporation is Japan's largest trading and investment company. As well as car manufacturing, it's also involved in finance, banking, chemicals and the food sector.

The ElectroRoute move is the first of its kind for the firm as it looks to pursue new business models in the energy sector.

Ronan Doherty believes the interest in his firm from Mitsubishi is a "wonderful validation" of the company's business model.

"With their support, ElectroRoute is now ideally placed to strengthen our positioning within our international energy markets.

"The ElectroRoute team and I are extremely excited about the new avenues that this investment will open up for our business and we are already putting plans in place to accelerate our next phase of expansion," he said.

Mr Doherty's company started off with support from the Bank of Ireland 'Start Up and Emerging Sectors Equity Fund' as well as Enterprise Ireland.

Mitsubishi's new energy and power generation chief operating officer, Yoshinori Katayama, said the global giant was pleased to add the innovative firm to its portfolio.

"It is a long-term strategy for our business to identify companies that will give us new business opportunities to pursue rather than traditional long term contracted IPP investment businesses.

"We were very impressed with ElectroRoute's business model and talent pool, which we felt made it a unique proposition," he said.

"It is vital for us to now ensure they will have the significant resources and the independence required to develop into a global enterprise."

ElectroRoute will now press ahead with plans to expand its client services offering into the UK.

"Choosing to partner with Mitsubishi Corporation allows us to build upon the vision we had when we founded ElectroRoute," said Mr Doherty.

"We will be able to develop our service offering for our clients, identify and expand into new markets, and grow our team.  For the board members and investors who have been with us since the beginning, this is a very exciting time."

Mitsubishi is continuing to invest into the energy sector and announced on Thursday that it had developed an algorithm for deep learning that will be embedded into the firm's robots, machines and eventually its car brands.

Irish Independent

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