Energy firm acquired in £18m Chinese deal

A Skelmersdale-based firm that specialises in energy optimisation has been acquired by the Chinese software giant BONC (Business-intelligence of Oriental Nations Corporation Ltd) for £18.1m.

CotoplaxiCotopaxi Ltd, which helps to reduce energy bills for a range of global brands in 40 countries, is based at the West Lancashire Investment Centre in Skelmersdale and has offices worldwide in Beijing, Mumbai, Germany and Northampton, UK, with a collective workforce of 50 employees.

The deal is subject to approval by Chinese government officials however, when approved, funds will be paid over the next three years based on agreed targets and an aggressive business plan.

The firm, established in 2009, is a main provider of Internet-based energy solutions and consulting services for a number of sectors including chemical, manufacturing and food and beverage with customers including a number of blue-chip household names.

Directors Cliff Bradshaw, Kevin Kitching and Stuart Hartley will remain in control of the board of Cotopaxi and have a 5 year contract as the management team.

Cotopaxi and Bonc, which is listed on the Shenzhen stock market, have successfully collaborated through 2014 and 2015 on several large projects and the working relationship has flourished.

Founder director, Cliff Bradshaw, said: “BONC is a major organisation with 3000 staff and are focused on the telecom industry. Strategically, they are well placed to develop Cotopaxi further into an international brand.

“The negotiations have been quite rapid and during our early meetings BONC expressed significant interest in investing in Cotopaxi. They presented many growth opportunities primarily in China and complementary development expertise for the tool we developed called Strata.

“In short, we look forward to working with our new parent company for the benefit of our existing and future customers and our staff.” Cotopaxi is now looking to get a larger foothold into the Chinese energy market which is being encouraged to get the most out of its energy use.