Chameleon Technology, the Yorkshire-based international smart energy technology company, is set to embark on an ambitious growth strategy to support the UK’s net zero targets following the completion of a Management Buy Out (MBO).
Led by co-founder and Managing Director, Mike Woodhall, supported by its existing management team, the MBO has been backed by London-based Shard Credit Partners.
The MBO will help accelerate the management team’s plans to deliver consumer-focused technology solutions, which harness real-time data from smart metering systems. It will focus primarily on data and cloud solutions that enable smart home, low carbon and home energy management technologies to be optimised.
With its head office in Harrogate, Chameleon Technology, which has a team of forty-seven, is the leading provider of smart in-home displays in the UK, having achieved record sales in excess of £30m in 2019.
Since it was founded in 2010 by Mike Woodhall and Gary Martin, Chameleon Technology has delivered more than six million smart in-home displays to UK homes via energy providers, including E.ON, Bulb, EDF, Npower, Scottish Power and OVO. Chameleon Technology was the first to provide cloud-connected in-home displays to the UK market, via its partnership with E.ON.
Chameleon Technology already has an established strategic partnership with Samsung SmartThings, which will continue to be a key initiative alongside developing other cloud to cloud solutions and building on its work to date in France supporting transformative low carbon projects. It will also make further investments in its cloud engineering capability.
As a result of the MBO, Mike Woodhall becomes CEO of Chameleon Technology with Craig Stephenson, who joined the business in early 2017, joining the Board as Chief Commercial Officer.
Wendi Higgins becomes Company Secretary, continuing as General Counsel and joins the Chameleon Technology Board. Founding team member and current Head of Marketing Jennifer Woodhall becomes Marketing and Communications Director.
In addition, Steve Mitchell joins Chameleon Technology as the new Non-Executive Chairman. An independent advisor and strategist in the energy, finance and technology sectors, Steve has significant experience in the smart metering industry.
Co-founder and seed investor Gary Martin is exiting the business, but will retain a minority stake in the company. A number of other shareholders will also exit the business having achieved strong returns on their investments.
Finance Yorkshire, which has been an institutional investor in the business since 2013, will also exit having realised a significant multiple on its invested capital for its fund.
Legal advice to Mike Woodhall and the management team was provided by Clarion, led by Partner Jonathan Simms, with tax advice from Stokoe Rodger, led by Partner Paul Killen.
Providing corporate finance advice to Shard Credit Partners was Ryecroft Glenton Corporate Finance (RGCF), led by Partner Nick Johnson, supported by Senior Manager Alex Simpson and Executive Tom Cosby. Financial and Tax Due Diligence was also carried out by Ryecroft Glenton.
Legal advice to Shard Credit Partners was provided by Gateley PLC with 3volution advising the exiting shareholders, led by Founding Partner Jonathan Priestley.
Mike Woodhall, CEO of Chameleon Technology, said: “I am delighted to have completed this management buy-out of Chameleon Technology. With the backdrop of supportive government policy and the energy system transformation, this is the perfect time to put control of the company in the hands of the management team.
“The exiting shareholders can look back and be proud of what we’ve achieved together. Looking forward, we have an aggressive strategic plan in place which will answer the requirements and leverage the opportunities of the transformation of the energy system in the UK and other countries. I am excited to continue to lead the Chameleon Technology team on our journey.”
Alastair Brown, CEO of Shard Credit Partners, said, “Chameleon Technology has created an impressive business and enviable market position in its first ten years. The company has a unique opportunity to capitalise on a supportive regulatory landscape and further develop its technical solutions to provide value to customers, partners and end users as well as developing new initiatives and relationships. We are excited to be supporting Mike and the management team in pursuit of Chameleon Technology’s bold plans and to facilitate continued growth and success for the business.”
Finance Yorkshire Chief Executive Alex McWhirter said: “We are pleased to have supported Chameleon Technology and its management team who have successfully grown the business to become an international player in the technology sector. We wish the company continued success as consumer demand for smart energy solutions grows.”
Nick Johnson, Partner at RGCF, said: “The MBO is well-timed to leverage and support the transformation of the energy industry and with the backing of Shard Credit Partners and the expertise of its management team, Chameleon Technology is well placed to play its role in the UK’s net zero strategy. We are very pleased to have again supported Shard Credit Partners in the latest of a series of investments as it grows its portfolio of dynamic and forward-thinking SMEs across the UK.”