Seattle Renewable Energy Forecaster 3TIER Acquired by Vaisala for $14.7M

12/17/13Follow @bromano

[Updated throughout 12/17/13, 1:19 p.m.] 3TIER, the Seattle-based provider of weather forecasting and other information to the renewable energy industry, has been acquired by Vaisala, a Finnish measurement company, in a deal worth about $14.7 million.

3TIER will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Vaisala, so you will still interact with 3TIER as you have in the past,” says 3TIER CEO Craig Husa in an open letter on the acquisition. “And you can expect the same industry-leading forecasting and assessment services 3TIER is known for, now and in the future, only made stronger by the resources and depth of experience from Vaisala.”

No layoffs are anticipated as a result of the acquisition, says Pascal Storck, 3TIER’s chief operating officer.

“There is a lot of opportunity out there in the renewable energy space,” he says. “Right now is really the time to step it up a notch, starting with a bigger platform with a global reach, and Vaisala is exactly the company to do that with.”

Vaisala sells specialized weather sensors, including those launched on weather balloons all over the world. The company is growing its position in renewable energy, adding to a portfolio of measurement-related services to industrial and environmental markets.

Storck says 3TIER has learned over the years that its modelling capabilities rely on starting with good observations. The two companies’ core competencies work well together, he says.

Vaisala, traded on the NASDAQ OMX Helsinki, says 3TIER had 2012 net sales of nearly $12.4 $9 million, and 55 employees.

3TIER was founded in 2001 by Kenneth Westrick, an expert in numerical weather prediction trained at the University of Washington. The company steadily expanded its suite of weather forecasts for hydroelectric, wind, and solar project developers, owners, operators, and investors, raising some $18.5 million since 2007. It’s lead investor was Bregal Energy, formerly known as Good Energies Capital.

Asked about the financial outcome of the acquisition for investors, Husa says that Bregal “has been very supportive and pleased.”

Benjamin Romano is editor of Xconomy Seattle. Email him at bromano [at] xconomy.com. Follow @bromano

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