Beech Tree Private Equity today announces an investment in Sustainable Energy First, a leading sustainable energy and utilities specialist, serving the UK’s most prominent organisations. Beech Tree’s investment will support Sustainable Energy First’s objective to decarbonise the UK’s business community by 327,000 tonnes CO2e by 2028.

Sustainable Energy First was founded by Russ Priestley and Chris Jones in 1997 to address the cost and complexity associated with the energy needs of medium to enterprise size companies. Its customers represent abroad spectrum of the UK economy. The business’s purpose has always been centered around its people, creating a work environment that engenders high levels of engagement in order to deliver quality customer service and continuous improvement which has been at the heart of its success.

Sustainable Energy First is focused on reducing the carbon footprint of its clients, which account for 3.5% of UK business power consumption. In effect, it has aligned its own sustainability ambitions with those of its clients and prospects. Eradicating 327,000 tonnes CO2e by 2028 is the goal –this is the equivalent to taking 73,000 cars off the road.

The partnership with Beech Tree will bring significant investment that will power future service development building on recent market leading services such as the Sustainable Energy Consortium which makes truly renewable energy accessible to more businesses and Corporate Power Purchase Agreements (CPPAs) typically suitable for larger enterprises.

Russ Priestley Founder said “The co-investment with Beech Tree and the management team will increase our service capabilities, marking a new highly progressive chapter for Sustainable Energy First and our clients”.

Michael Abbott, CEO of Sustainable Energy First said “I am delighted to have been a part of the Sustainable Energy First journey over the last 7 years and hugely excited about what the future holds. Continuing to work with Russ alongside Beech Tree creates a unique opportunity for our colleagues and clients”.

Commenting on the transaction, Andy Marsh, Managing Partner at Beech Tree, said “We are delighted to partner with the Sustainable Energy First team whose core mission is to reduce the carbon footprint for its customers. We are excited to support the team in continuing to deliver market leading organic growth and supplement it with strategic acquisitions and further investment in data and technology to accelerate the momentum of the business”.

Funders of the transaction:

Beech Tree Private Equity (Andy Marsh, Luke Burns, Leigh Thomas)

Investec (Conor McMahon, Matthew Skingle)

Advisers to Beech Tree Private Equity and Newco:

Legal advisor – DLA Piper (James Kerrigan, Chris Wilson, Sam Jones, Lindsey Peck)

Financial Diligence– EY (Ben Collins, Jonathan Mullen)

Tax – Alvarez & Marsal Tax (Nick Walton)

Commercial Diligence – CIL (Tom Stevens, Oliver Bell)

Debt Advisory – Clearwater (Joe Dyke, Kieran Virr, Tom Wood)

Advisers to the Company:

Legal advisors – Penningtons (Adam McGiveron, Emma Bryant), Beyond Corporate (Matt Fleetwood, Shaun Little)

Corporate Finance – KPMG (Alex Hartley, Richard Stark)

Tax – RSM (Anthony Cox)

About Beech Tree Private Equity

Beech Tree Private Equity invests into fast-growing profitable businesses in three key areas – technology, tech-enabled services, and financial services. Beech Tree works with Management teams to build scale and capability, bringing capital and expertise to drive these expansion strategies.