Global smart metering company Landis+Gyr, along with Pacific Equity Partners (PEP) have announced an agreement to form a joint venture for the acquisition of Acumen from Australia’s largest energy retailer, Origin Energy.

The joint venture will be known as intelliHUB Holdings. The Acumen business includes the existing management and servicing of an already deployed 170,000 meters and a material, long-term contract with Origin Energy for the rollout of additional smart meters across Australia.

The intelliHUB business was established by Landis+Gyr in 2015 in preparation for the mass market rollout of smart meters in Australia under new contestability rules. By acquiring the Acumen business, the combined entity is poised to rollout a significant proportion of the estimated eight million smart meters to be deployed across NSW, Queensland, South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory starting immediately. Landis+Gyr will be contributing both cash and its intelliHUB business with combined equity value of up to $75 million.

The joint venture has raised a starting position in excess of $500 million of capital to finance the rollout of smart meters. This comes from a combination of PEP’s new $1 billion Secure Assets Fund and a banking consortium of eight leading Australian and global financial institutions.

The business will retain both the intelliHUB and Acumen brands as the combined businesses come together to focus on all facets of residential, consumer and industrial, embedded networks and solar metering services across Australia and New Zealand.

In parallel with the establishment of the joint venture, intelliHUB has entered into a five-year meter supply contract with Landis+Gyr with expected volumes of approximately 800,000 smart meters to be deployed to multiple utility customers across Australia and New Zealand.

“Landis+Gyr are the leaders in smart metering and offer the largest portfolio in the industry for utility companies and retailers that help bring the grid into the digital age. We have been investing for several years in our products and solutions for Australia and the partnership with intelliHUB will be crucial to giving the Australian market access to the best of our global smart metering products, solutions and services technologies,” said Landis+Gyr’s chief executive officer Richard Mora,.

Cameron Blanks, managing director at PEP said: “The Australian market is just commencing a major widespread deployment of smart metering technology. This requires experienced partners that are acutely focused on the customer experience and getting the most out of this once in a generation technology refresh. We have partnered with Landis+Gyr and we believe this business will create an independent and differentiated experience for energy retailers, providing an exceptional rollout experience with the global leader in metering innovation.”