Glen Dimplex, the heating and industrial group controlled by the Naughton family, has bought a UK software business for an undisclosed sum.
The Dublin-headquartered company last week acquired SmarterDM, a Reading company that specialises in systems to help hotels and other large businesses minimise their energy consumption by using software and other technology to control heating.
The deal, which brings a team of 15 software engineers into Glen Dimplex’s orbit, is part of the Irish group’s attempt to reposition itself as a supplier of electrified heating systems to help businesses transition towards more sustainable practices.
Glen Dimplex, which recently negotiated a debt facility with the European Investment Bank (EIB) to help it fund new acquisitions, says the SmarterDM deal will give it access to the budget hotel and student accommodation sector, opening up new avenues for sales of its heating and ventilation systems. The UK business also designs systems to control energy usage in the home.
"Hotels can save 40 per cent of their energy costs from using this kind of software," said Fergal Leamy, Glen Dimplex's chief executive. "This is not the type of company we would have acquired in the past and it is a good example of how we are trying to reposition Glen Dimplex."
Glen Dimplex declined to comment on the value of the deal, although Mr Leamy suggested it was not a large transaction. Accounts filed in the UK suggest its net assets were below £1 million in 2020.
Glen Dimplex is well known for many of its consumer units, such as appliance brands Morphy Richards, Roberts radios and Belling cookers. The company is targeting most of its future growth in the area of heating and ventilation systems, such as electric heat pumps that are seen as key to reducing carbon emissions from the residential property sector.
The group, founded almost 50 years ago by Martin Naughton, has sales of about €1.5 billion and employs 8,000 staff.