Smart meter firm Sensus explores sale

Reuters

U.S. smart metering company Sensus (Raleigh, N.C., U.S.A.) is exploring a potential sale of the company and has hired bankers to advise the company on a deal that could potentially cost up to $1 billion, people familiar with the matter said.

Privately held Sensus, which makes smart meters, software and communication systems for the electric, gas, and water industries, is preparing to launch a sale and is being advised by financial service company Credit Suisse (Zurich, Switzerland) on the process, these sources said. 

The company has about $100 million in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA). It could be valued at about 8 to 10 times EBITDA in a potential deal, two of the sources said.

The company is expected to draw interest from trade buyers looking to expand in the smart grid market as well as private equity firms that would grow the business and eventually take it public, according to the sources.

Representatives for Sensus and Credit Suisse declined to comment.

In May, Japanese electronics manufacturer Toshiba Corp (Tokyo, Japan) struck a $2.3 billion deal to buy Swiss-based meter maker Landis+Gyr (Zug, Switzerland) in a bid to move into the smart grid market, beating out several strategic and private equity bidders. Credit Suisse advised Landis+Gyr on the sale along with Lazard Ltd (New York).

Smart meter makers such as Sensus and Landis+Gyr have seen strong growth as countries around the globe tighten regulations on energy to boost efficiency and use of renewable sources to cope with increasing demand and rising costs for energy and water.

Sensus has about 3,600 employees and had $865 million in sales last year.

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