Lancashire-based energy tech firm Utiligroup has been acquired by a US private equity firm for a reported £100 million.

Utiligroup’s software helps smaller utility companies compete with the so-called Big Six – British Gas, SSE, ScottishPower, EDF Energy, Eon and Npower.

It has also developed software to help with the rollout of smart meters, which the Government wants in every home by 2020 to help the public track their energy consumption.

Accel-KKR has bought Utiligroup through its services company ESG.

“ESG continues to build on our strategy of providing best-in-class technology solutions and services to energy resellers and empowering energy choice around the world,” said CEO Phil Galati.

“We are incredibly excited about the opportunity to grow our market presence and strengthen our product offerings through the partnership with Utiligroup.”

Utiligroup chief executive Matthew Hirst will remain at the helm of the UK business, which will continue operations under that name.

He said: “We have built a leadership position in the UK market by consistently innovating, using our deep industry expertise to help our customers grow and evolve with the market.

“We look forward to this next chapter, bringing the best of ESG and Utiligroup to our customers across the globe.”

Hirst, who will also join the board of directors of ESG, will speak at BusinessCloud's 'Lancashire Powerhouse' event in Lytham on Wednesday 19th April, which is part of the St George's Day Charity Festival. You can sign up for free here.

Less than three years ago, Utiligroup was the subject of a £16m management buyout led by Hirst and COO Andrew Green and backed by NorthEdge Capital.Based in Chorley, the firm turned over £12.5m in the year to 31st March.