Flow Power is happy to announce a change of ownership today, as one of Canada’s largest pension funds, OPTrust, takes a 51% stake in the company.
Operationally Flow Power will continue to function as usual, with the leadership team and existing Australian shareholders remaining the same. Stan Kolenc, OPTrust’s Sydney-based Managing Director will join the Flow Power board.
As a result of this ownership change and investment, Flow Power will be expanding its Melbourne office, as well as looking at establishing a presence in Sydney, Adelaide and Brisbane. This will create approximately 50 jobs across Australia over the next 12 months, and also allow for the expansion of Flow Power’s existing project scope. The investment also includes Flow Power’s sister company – Utilacor.
OPTrust has previously spoken of its intention to invest heavily in renewables in Australia, and today’s announcement demonstrates OPTrust’s view of Flow Power as a significant player when it comes to fixing a broken Australian energy market. For many years, Flow Power has taken a fresh and innovative approach to the country’s changing energy landscape, connecting its business customers to market signals and wholesale power prices.
Flow Power recently became the first electricity retailer to bring corporate renewable power purchase agreements to Australia – a model proven to be successful in the United States and Europe – as well as participating in a number of programs to increase cost-effective demand response capacity in Australia. Through its locally developed proprietary technology, Flow Power gives its customers the ability to control load in response to price fluctuations, while still being scalable. Flow Power’s kWatch® Intelligent Controller was designed to meet a specific need and solve a complex problem for which there was no off-the-shelf solution. It is ultimately able to make complex decisions, interact with control systems and help save businesses money.
OPTrust has invested more than $500 million in Australia across private equity and infrastructure assets. OPTrust has also been growing its Australian office and team, and will continue the search for private market opportunities.
Stan Kolenc, Managing Director of OPTrust’s Sydney office comments:
“We were drawn to Flow Power as a first mover in an industry that is well suited to a company as innovative as Flow Power. Flow Power’s IP and technology hold real promise, and we are excited about the opportunity to grow the company.”
On the expansion of OPTrust’s Australian investment activity, he adds
“Australia is a key market for us, and has seen significant growth in recent years. Carefully selecting the right investments is our key priority, as we are looking to back more ethical, innovative and profitable companies like Flow Power.”
Matthew van der Linden, Managing Director of Flow Power comments,
“We are delighted to have the backing of such a respected player as OPTrust. We look forward to the opportunities it will enable Flow Power to provide for customers as we continue our momentum in transforming the Australia power market.”
A fully funded plan with net assets of $19 billion as of December 31, 2016, OPTrust invests and manages one of Canada’s largest pension funds and administers the OPSEU Pension Plan, a defined benefit plan with almost 90,000 members and retirees. OPTrust is a global investor in a broad range of asset classes including Canadian and foreign equities, fixed income, real estate, infrastructure and private markets, and has a team of highly experienced investment professionals located in Toronto, London and Sydney. As a pension management organization, OPTrust’s mission is to pay pensions today, preserve pensions for tomorrow. OPTrust can be found at https://www.optrust.com
Watch the below from Matthew van der Linden, Managing Director at Flow Power for more on this change.
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