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  • Writer's pictureSafer Highways

Private equity takeover for O’Connor Utilities

OCU Group Limited, the holding company of O’Connor Utilities and Instalcom, is being acquired by private equity firm Triton Partners.

OCU is a Stockport-based utilities contractor that turned over £300m last year.

Founded in 1994 by brothers Tim and Tom O’Connor, OCU has more than 3,000 employees.

Triton Partners is based in Germany but owns companies across Europe, including traffic management firm Chevron and geotechnics specialist Dywidag. Its portfolio of companies has combined annual revenues of more than €18bn.

OCU and Triton Partners said that the new partnership would provide the company with investment to expand into non-regulated markets as the UK transitions to renewable power.

OCU Group chief executive Michael Hughes 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.”

Both O’Connor brothers recently turned 60. Tim is 62, Tom is nearly 61.

The brothers 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.”

Relevant contracts have been exchanged and the transaction is expected to complete in August.

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