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ista is one of the world's leading companies in the provision of energy management services for greater energy efficiency in buildings. ista helps property managers, home owners and tenants all over the world to measure, analyse, bill and manage individual energy and water consumption.

Key information

Region Germany
Sector Business Services
Strategy Europe/Americas
ista website

Growing a world-class energy efficiency business

In 2003, CVC led the complex management buy-out from German utility giant, E.ON, and began ista's transformation from a "corporate orphan" to a leading energy efficiency provider. It was the start of a 14-year relationship that saw the business's EBITDA grow more than three-fold.

During CVC's initial ownership period, the CVC team worked closely with ista's leadership, focusing on profit improvement and product innovation, including the introduction of a new generation of smart meters that save energy and reduce emissions.

Having achieved strong growth and expanded international revenues, CVC sold ista in 2007 but kept a minority stake and a watching brief. With an increased global focus on sustainable resources and the requirements of the 2012 European Energy Directive, including the wider adoption of smart metering, CVC saw further opportunities for business growth.

When ista's majority owners put the company up for sale in 2013, CVC opened parallel negotiations. CVC's deep knowledge of the energy market, the business and the management team resulted in CVC again becoming the majority shareholder.


We want to thank CVC for the many years of strong support they have provided. Early on CVC identified the potential in our business and together we have transformed the company into what it is today.

Generating additional value in further growth phase

CVC continued to work closely with management to ensure ista was in the best shape to deliver competitive advantage on an international scale and in particular:

  • CVC supported ista's expansion into new territories and in adjacencies such as smoke detection
  • CVC worked with management on productivity and service improvements that benefited customers and the bottom line

By late 2016, the value creation plan had been achieved and ista was active in 26 countries and after fourteen years of ownership, CVC sold ista in 2017 to another long-term owner, Cheung Kong Property Holdings Limited in conjunction with CK Infrastructure Holdings Limited, who will support ista in its next phase of growth.