Private equity snaps up construction testing specialist

Oakley Capital has bought CTS Group as part of a wider ambition to create a major player in the global testing, inspection, certification, and compliance market.

In parallel with the deal, Oakley is also financing testing, inspection, certification, and compliance group Phenna in a deal valuing the business at £1bn.

CTS will now join Phenna as it seeks to grow from its base in a dozen countries.

Phenna was formed in 2018 and now incorporates 31 independent businesses that provide specialist services across infrastructure, built environment, niche industrial, pharmaceutical and certification and compliance divisions.

Over the past three years, CTS has doubled in size in the construction testing and monitoring arena through nine acquisitions.

The existing CTS management team will continue to lead the business within Phenna.

The combined capabilities that the two businesses have in the UK across laboratory testing, site-based testing and surveying, and geotechnical consultancy presents a leading portfolio of services in the sector.

CTS was previously owned by Palatine following their initial investment in 2018.

Phil Coles, CTS Group CEO said: “Our time under Palatine ownership proved highly successful for CTS through both organic growth and acquisitions and the opportunity to continue that as part of a larger, successful and ambitious group as Phenna is fantastic news for the whole business.”

“Oakley’s experience in supporting ambitious businesses in M&A activity and the opportunity to do this as part of Phenna means an exciting future for all those involved in the business,” he added.


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