AN East Lancashire firm has made plans to sell part of its business for more than £16 million.

Smart meter manufacturer Bglobal said that plans have been made to sell subsidiary company Utili-group Limited, a software services firm based in Chorley.

The firm last month sold its Darwen-based manufacturing arm, at Commercial Road, to Scottish firm Energy Assets Group, moving its head office to the Chorley site.

If shareholders agree to the decision, Utiligroup Limited, in Clayton Green Business Park, will be sold to a new company for £16.1m.

The decision was made after the company asked KPMG to conduct a review.

Following the review, Bglobal said it was implementing a number of actions to improve performance.

The firm said that although the Board’s main focus was securing a buyer for Bglobal Metering and removing excess costs from the Group, it decided to gauge the level of interest in Utiligroup, and the likely value that selling the business could generate for shareholders.

NorthEdge Capital LLP made the offer on behalf of the company in February, and it is set to be approved by Shareholders at a general meeting, on June 18.

John Grant, executive chairman of Bglobal plc, said: “When I became chairman in August last year, it was apparent that there was significant value within the Group that was in danger of being depleted, rather than realised.

“Since then, I am pleased that the Board has been able to deliver improved underlying performance for Bglobal Metering and Utiligroup. This transaction, and the sale of Bglobal Metering in April, demonstrate that value which the Board has been able to unlock for our shareholders.”

Tim Jackson Smith, chief executive of Bglobal plc, said: “I am delighted that we have agreed, subject to shareholder approval, to sell Utiligroup to a new company backed by North-Edge Capital LLP.

“This deal is part of our ongoing programme to return value to our shareholders and the price we have achieved, which represents a significant prem-ium to the current share price, fairly reflects the value of Utiligroup.”