Listed energy firm put up for sale
Energy consultancy Utilitywise has announced that it is up for sale after delaying the publication of its accounts for a second time.
The company, based in north Tyneside, initially pushed the publication of its account in November after auditors BDO called into question how it estimates revenues.
In a statement to the London Stock Exchange, Utilitywise said it would look at offers for parts of the business or the company as a whole.
Trading of shares in the tech-led firm were suspended after the latest delay. Following this morning's announcement, its share price fell more than 50 per cent to below 3p.
The share price has fallen steadily over the last 12 months from around 40p last January. The price peaked in 2014 at £3.70.
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Negotiations over the refinancing of its existing banking facility of £25 million have also stalled until Utilitywise can secure further equity investment, the firm said.
“The group's lending bank indicated its willingness to refinance those banking facilities at the same level, on the condition that other funding was also obtained from alternative sources,” it stated.
“The combined funding allowed the Group to make the necessary strategic investments detailed above.
“The group has therefore approached both new and existing investors to seek to conduct an equity fundraising to provide sufficient additional equity capital.
“At this stage, the group has not attracted a sufficient level of interest… to satisfy the group's overall funding requirements for the period to 31 July 2021.”
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Utilitywise said £10m investment is needed to make further strategic changes in order to improve revenue streams, including prioritising its Internet of Things solutions and the creation of a digitally driven channel “targeting micro-SME customers and offering a multi-utility bill management service with automation at its core”.
Last year Utilitywise, which has 27,000 customers, repaid £7.6m to a leading energy company after it overestimated energy use.