Mitsubishi takes majority stake in Irish energy start-up

14 Oct 2016

Pictured: Ronan Doherty, CEO of ElectroRoute, with Atsushi Suzuki, head of new energy and power generation division, Mitsubishi Corporation. Image: Andres Poveda

Japanese industrial giant Mitsubishi has taken a 60pc stake in Irish energy trading and services firm ElectroRoute.

ElectroRoute has grown rapidly from a start-up with just four people in 2011 to over 40 today.

While the terms of the acquisition weren’t disclosed, ElectroRoute’s entire senior founding management team, including CEO Ronan Doherty, will remain with the firm as it continues its expansion, with plans including the opening of its first offices outside of Ireland.

‘For the board members and investors who have been with us since the beginning, this is a very exciting time’

ElectroRoute was initially supported by Enterprise Ireland and the Bank of Ireland Start-Up and Emerging Sectors Equity Fund, managed by Delta Partners.

Energised for global expansion

Mitsubishi, which has a market cap of €32bn, has significant interest in power-generation projects, including renewables.

“With their support, ElectroRoute is now ideally placed to strengthen our positioning within our international energy markets,” said Doherty.

“The ElectroRoute team and I are extremely excited about the new avenues that this investment will open up for our business and we are already putting plans in place to accelerate our next phase of expansion.”

ElectroRoute trades energy on a 24/7 basis across the entire spectrum; with spot trading, futures trading, cross-border trading and green certificates trading.

It also provides managed trading services to energy assets, giving them ready access to pan-European markets and currently has over 600MW of assets under management.

It has a presence in energy markets in Ireland, the UK, Netherlands, France, Italy, Germany, and Spain.

“It is a long-term strategy for our business to identify companies that will give us new business opportunities to pursue, rather than traditional long-term contracted IPP investment businesses,” said Yoshinori Katayama, COO of Mitsubishi’s new energy and power generation division.

“We were very impressed with ElectroRoute’s business model and talent pool, which we felt made it a unique proposition.  It is vital for us to now ensure they will have the significant resources and the independence required to develop into a global enterprise.”

The next phase of Mitsubishi’s strategy will be to open new offices in the UK to grow ElectroRoute’s global customer base.

“For the board members and investors who have been with us since the beginning, this is a very exciting time,” Doherty added.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years