Business Technology

Sunday 4 December 2016

Mitsubishi takes majority share in Irish energy firm

Published 14/10/2016 | 14:00

Pictured at the announcement is Ronan Doherty CEO, ElectroRoute with Atsushi Suzuki, Head of Power Business Planning Office, New Energy & Power Generation Division, Mitsubishi Corporation. Picture Andres Poveda
Pictured at the announcement is Ronan Doherty CEO, ElectroRoute with Atsushi Suzuki, Head of Power Business Planning Office, New Energy & Power Generation Division, Mitsubishi Corporation. Picture Andres Poveda

Mitsubishi Corporation has taken a majority share in Irish energy trading firm ElectroRoute that will see it expand its operations beyond the eight European markets it currently operates in.

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ElectroRoute's entire senior founding management team will stay in place, including chief executive Ronan Doherty, despite Mitsubishi taking a 60pc stake in the firm.

The company, which has grown from 4 employees in 2011 to 40 today, is now planning the opening of its first offices outside of Ireland thanks to the backing of Mitsubishi.

The Irish business trades energy on a 24/7 basis across the entire spectrum of spot trading, futures trading, cross-border trading, and green certificates trading.

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

ElectroRoute already 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 and is also involved in finance, banking, chemicals, food, and perhaps most notable to Irish consumers, car manufacturing.

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

ElectroRoute chief executive Ronan Doherty said 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 enerrgy 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.  It is vital for us to now ensure they will have the significant resources and the independence required to develop into a global enterprise.”

Following the deal with Mitsubishi, 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.  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,” added Ronan Doherty.

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