Melrose, the manufacturing investment specialist is set to launch a $2.3bn take over of smart metering company Elster, which is set to become a major player in the UK government’s smart meter roll out.

The $20.50-a-share offer represents a 49 per cent premium over the closing price on June 11, the day speculation began over the bid for Elster.

In April, the company secured a contract to provide 300,000 smart meters for E.ON UK customers by the end of 2013.

Business Green reports that Elster is well placed to be part of the UK’s government’s planned replacement programme for more than 53 million gas and electricity meters from 2014 to 2019.

The news follows Toshiba’s $2.3bn purchase of smart meter company Landis+Gyr last year, indicating a growing interest from investors in the emerging smart grid market.

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