CVC Said to Consider Sale of German Smart Meter Firm Ista

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  • Company could fetch significantly more than $3.5 billion paid
  • Private equity fund is working with Goldman on the sale

CVC Capital Partners, the London-based private equity firm, is weighing the sale of its German smart meter business Ista International GmbH, people familiar with the matter said.

CVC is expected to get significantly more than the 3.1 billion euros ($3.5 billion) it paid for the business in 2013, one of the people said, who asked not to be named as the talks are confidential. The company is working with Goldman Sachs Group Inc. on the potential sale, which is likely to attract companies in Ista’s industry and other buyout firms, the people said.

Representatives for Goldman Sachs and CVC declined to comment.

The Essen, Germany-based company may be in a position to benefit from European Union targets to replace at least 80 percent of electricity meters with smart meters by 2020 in a drive to reduce emissions. The project represents a potential investment of 45 billion euros, the commission said.

Ista specializes in heat and water meters for apartment buildings and commercial properties and uses technology to help customers monitor and reduce energy use and maintain smoke alarms remotely. The company had sales of 810.4 million euros from 12 million customers in 2015, according to its website.

CVC, which raised $4.3 billion for a strategic opportunities fund earlier this year, most recently sold its shares in the owner of Formula One to Liberty Media Corp. for $4.4 billion.