Sunday 18 November 2018

Landis+Gyr plan to raise up to $750m with US share issue

Cameron O'Reilly founded Bayard and retains the role of chief executive officer of Landis+Gyr
Cameron O'Reilly founded Bayard and retains the role of chief executive officer of Landis+Gyr

Ailish O'Hora

International energy management specialist Bayard Group, which has just rebranded under the Landis+Gyr name, is planning a flotation by the end of 2009. It is understood the company is expecting to raise between $500m and $750m through a listing in the US which accounts for about 40pc of the firm's business.

The newly branded Landis+Gyr provides utilities firms with metering solutions that identify consumption in more detail than conventional methods. The solutions generally communicate that information via a network back to the local utility for monitoring and billing purposes.

As energy prices hit new records across the globe and with consumers being stung worse than ever, efficiency has taken on new momentum with the company well placed to tap into the growing interest in energy. "We live in an era of sky-rocketing energy costs and unrelenting consumption, yet energy production is not keeping up and much of it is lost through an aging grid infrastructure," said Cameron O'Reilly, co-founder and chief executive of what is now Landis+Gyr. "The unification of Bayard and its subsidiaries into one powerful global business reinforces our mission to help utilities and their customers manage energy better."

Owned by a number of institutional and individual investors including Sir Anthony O'Reilly, the chief executive of Independent News & Media, the company, which employs 5,000 people spanning over 30 countries, it recorded double-digit growth in 2007. Revenues were $1.3bn last year while earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) was over $200m. In 2007, there were 1,584 million electricity meters in the world with annual demand of 112 million.

This figure is expected to grow to 142 million by 2012.

Mr O'Reilly added that while the focus is still on growing the business, looking forward a flotation was always on the cards for Landis+Gyr despite the current jitters in financial markets. "The original plan was always to float the company," he said. He added that while the firm will maintain its global operating headquarters in Zug, Switzerland it is also opening a US office. Developing markets are also a target for the company which has two factories in both China and India.

With the flotation a while away, Landis+Gyr is planning to continue growth through acquisition having just completed a 14th purchase in the UK. "We are constantly looking at new opportunities," he said.

And while the company is traditionally a business-to-business venture, Mr O'Reilly did not rule out moving into the consumer space in the future. While a relatively new concept in Ireland and Britain, the idea of in-home displays, whereby consumers can monitor and manage their energy consumption, is becoming a talking point across the globe especially as utilities firms instal "smart" power meters that track how much electricity flows into a home in real time.

"The consumer end of the business was not something that would have been considered in the beginning but in the fullness of time it is something we will explore as energy issues become increasingly important to the consumer."

With the Green's Eamon Ryan at the top of Ireland's energy agenda at the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Mr O'Reilly said we are well poised to take energy efficiency by the horns -- if the issue is managed properly.

"It's a case of making sure the cart doesn't go before the horse. Everyone is adjusting policies, including the EU."

Business Newsletter

Read the leading stories from the world of Business.

Also in Business