Based in Stockport, OCU is the holding company for O’Connor Utilities and Instalcom which operate within regulated infrastructure markets, including electricity, rail, water, gas and telecoms.
Founded in 1994 by brothers Tim and Tom O’Connor, OCU has a workforce of over 3,000 staff and contractors across the country and delivered revenues of around £300m in the financial year to April 2022.
Triton Partners said that the new partnership would see further investment in non-regulated opportunities as the UK economy increasingly focuses on renewable power as part of the country’s energy transition.
In a statement Tim and Tom O’Connor, founders of OCU, said: “It is a bittersweet moment as we say goodbye to many friends among 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.”
Hughes, who joined OCU at the start of the year from petrol station and food retailer EG Group, said he saw potential to grow the business to £1bn revenue on the back of the UK energy transition and the move to big data.
Hughes said: “The acquisition by Triton Partners marks the end of an exceptional 30 years of ownership by the O’Connor family.
“As we look ahead, our focus is on ensuring that the business continues to grow and evolve, while 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.”
Triton Partners has a strong track record of investing in services businesses. Its current portfolio of companies have combined annual revenues of over €18bn.
Relevant contracts have been exchanged and the transaction is expected to complete in August.