By Chris Barry – Editor, North West

Altrincham-based building management firm Building Automation Solutions has changed hands in a buy-out worth £40m.

A management team led by chief executive Brin Sheridan and backed by London-based Bridgepoint Development Capital have bought the business from Bob Savage and Steve Dalton, who had led its earlier spin-out from engineering giant Siemens in 2007. The pair had initially begun investigating a sale of the company two years ago, but decided against a deal at that time. They have also retained a stake in the company.

The company specialises in providing energy management systems which allow a building’s owner to monitor and control its energy use.

It typically has long-term recurring contracts with clients to support installed systems or undertakes project work to either design and install or upgrade systems.

Sheridan said that the backing from Bridgepoint would allow it to continue growing its core support business as well as invest in its energy management systems.

“There is a clear opportunity for BAS to grow its core support and project work where we are already a significant player,” said Sheridan. “In addition, BAS will increasingly become more involved in helping companies design and deliver their broad energy objectives as part of the larger energy management market, using our proprietary software to capture data and informing customers to take more operationally-focused decisions about their energy policy.”

The company’s last filed accounts for the the year to July 31, 2009 showed that it increased pre-tax profits by 15%to £3.1m on sales up 4% to £28m. The directors also shared a dividend worth £1.5m.

The budding energy management systems market is estimated to be worth £500m a year and is growing at a rate of around 6%, with the broader energy management market worth more than £2bn.

“With an investor such as BDC alongside management and the original founders, we now have the support and capital to accelerate our growth aspirations” said Sheridan.

Alan Payne, a partner at Bridgepoint Development Capital, said: “Investing in BAS represents an opportunity to invest in the fast-growing market for energy management, backing a proven team at a time when market growth is being driven partly by new energy legislation but also by an increasing business awareness of energy efficiency.”

Debt funding for the deal was provided by Yorkshire Bank’s Corporate and Structured Finance.