Investor acquires O’Connor Utilities Group in £400m deal

O'Connor Utilities Group, Stockport

A Stockport-headquartered industrial group has changed hands for £400m.

Investment firm Triton Partners has acquired OCU Group, the parent company of O’Connor Utilities and Instalcom O’Connor Utilities Group.

The company is run by brothers Tim and Tom O’Connor.

It was founded in 1994 and provides services across sectors including telecoms, water and energy with offices in Stockport and London, and 15 strategically located operating centres, operating with a work force in excess of 2,400 staff.

The company delivered revenues of £300m for the year to April 2022, that was up from £156.43m for the same period in the previous year.

Triton owns a number of businesses in the UK, including Chevron Traffic Management, Pharmanovia and Clinigen.

The company is currently invested in 47 companies in Europe, with combined sales of around €17,2bn and around 102,900 employees.

Michael Hughes, Chief Executive Officer of OCU Group, said: The acquisition by Triton Partners marks the end of an exceptional thirty years of ownership by the O’Connor family. Tim and Tom have been phenomenal stewards of the business and we are thankful for all they have done.

“As we look ahead, our focus is on ensuring that the business continues to grow and evolve, whilst also maintaining the strong culture and approach to customer service that they have instilled, and which remains our key differentiator.”

“Our partnership with Triton Partners will help to facilitate further growth and allow us to better take advantage of strategic opportunities in our core sectors.”

Tim and Tom O’Connor, founders of OCU, added: “The growth and evolution of the O’Connor Utilities and Instalcom businesses represents over three decades of hard work and commitment to create a successful and industry leading business.

“It is a bittersweet moment as we say goodbye to many friends amongst our colleagues, customers, and suppliers, without whom the business would not have achieved the success it has. However, we leave behind an exceptional management team that, with the support provided by Triton Partners and leadership of CEO Michael Hughes, will ensure more fantastic times ahead for the business. We wish all ongoing future success.”

Matthew Turner, Senior Industry Expert at Triton Partners, said: “Tim and Tom O’Connor have built an exceptional business, balancing profitability with purpose and we are delighted that the OCU Group will join our portfolio of companies.

“We have spent a lot of time with Michael and the wider management team and have been impressed by their vision for the future direction of the company. We have full confidence in their ability to execute the journey they have planned.”