SCOTTISH HydroElectric owner SSE has bought a company that helps organisations manage their energy usage for a price that could eventually hit £72m, writes Mark Williamson.

The Perth-based giant said the acquisition of The Energy Solutions Group (ESG) from Bridgepoint Development Capital would allow it to enhance the services it provides for business customers. SSE views the market for the provision of energy services to firms as a key growth area.

It expects Manchester-based ESG to earn annual operating profit of over £10m within five years. It has agreed to pay £66m for ESG and up to £6m more if targets are met.

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ESG has traded for around 20 years and employs 340 people.