MAS Leadership in Energy M & A: A Case Study 

MAS represented Brinvest and sold Excelergy to Nexant, a Bechtel spin-out.

This is a valuable case study in terms of the process to introduce, represent, and negotiate the sale of a company by understanding its value to another party.

This was a complex sale in the sense of selling Excelergy North America and Excelergy B.V. on behalf of the owner, Brinvest B.V., a family private equity firm in the Netherlands to Nexant, Inc. in San Francisco. MAS was selected by the Brinvest B.V. executive management as the sole transaction advisor to work with the management team, develop the exit strategy, and find a strategic buyer of the Excelergy business.

The key MAS role, where value was created for seller and ultimately the buyer, was identifying strategic buyers, that is companies which could uniquely leverage Excelergy.  This was critical given the difficult macro environment at the time.

The value proposition was not the organic growth per se of Excelergy but value creation from Excelergy assets becoming part of another company and that company’s unique positioning. There were different market players from smart grid to BPOs, to wholesale energy software that could leverage the opportunity.

Additional MAS roles included preparing analysis of the business, sales presentations regards the opportunities and assisting Brinvest and Excelergy executive management in interaction with prospective buyers.  MAS also provided an initial due diligence review preparatory to building the data room. This is especially critical to a successful conclusion and since more than half of transactions processes beyond LOI do not close. All transaction processes hit potholes but the key is to be prepared and turn the potholes into roadbumps along the way.

Multiple prospective buyers were involved in the process and multiple bids were made for the property from BPOs to consolidator retail billing software vendors to smart grid technology firms.

MAS approached Nexant and presented the opportunity to the senior executive. MAS was impressed with Nexant's positioning regards smart grid application and systems, power market systems, and demand management. “Nexant, as a strategic advisory energy firm to utilities and others with multiple technology solutions, understood immediately the value of Excelergy solutions and how they could add value combined with their core energy software, consulting, and service offerings, said Paul Mahady, President of MAS who led the assignment. “The key was understanding how billing, smart grid, and wholesale energy management solutions interplay and presenting that in a business case to the Nexant executive team in San Francisco.” Once that was established and agreed on, the rest was process and negotiation.

Brinvest B.V. CEO, Hans Brus stated, “We supported the Excelergy business in re-establishing itself and expanding especially into Europe. We are pleased that this business will become part of Nexant and be of strategic additive value to their business servicing energy companies and utilities. MAS was critical to the success of this transaction along with my Brinvest executives in managing and completing this transaction process.”

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