OCU Group acquires Hornbill Group

OCU Group Limited (OCU), the utility and energy engineering services contractor, has acquired Hornbill Group Limited and its subsidiaries (“Hornbill”), a specialist electrical engineering business.

Neath-based Hornbill is accredited by the National Electricity Registration Scheme and acts as an Independent Connection Provider (ICP), operating across key sectors including power, water, gas, renewables, metals, and chemicals. It specialises in designing and building electrical infrastructure for high-voltage (HV) and low-voltage (LV) renewable energy projects.  

Hornbill will form part of OCU’s Energy Services division, which focuses on quality engineered power system network solutions to deliver renewable energy and decarbonisation infrastructure in support of the UK Government’s ambition of achieving Net Zero by 2050.

As part of the acquisition arrangements, Hornbill will become known as OCU Hornbill.

Michael Hughes, Chief Executive Officer of OCU Group, said: “The acquisition of Hornbill was an obvious choice for OCU Group, offering the business access to a highly skilled workforce and reinforcing our reputation as an engineering-led organisation. Acquiring Hornbill not only strengthens our presence across South Wales and the South-West but also opens doors within this region, aligning with our long-term growth strategy. As a business, we are committed to assisting the UK and our clients in decarbonisation efforts. This acquisition will also play a significant role in expanding our portfolio of renewable energy infrastructure, furthering our commitment to sustainability.”

Gavin Murray, Managing Director of Hornbill, said: “Throughout the acquisition process with OCU, we have experienced seamless interaction and integration planning, and we firmly believe that the synergy between our two businesses will be vital in helping us capitalise on new opportunities in the renewables space, as well as branching out into new markets.”

Vince Bowler, Managing Director of OCU Energy Services, said: “The breadth of services provided by Hornbill perfectly complements the growth aspiration of OCU, accelerating our aim to meet the demands and expectations of our clients. Having this in-house skilled engineering capability further enhances our offering in the regulated and non-regulated energy markets, as demand for specialist engineering resources grows.”

The deal with Hornbill marks the eighth acquisition in 18 months for OCU and the fourth in the Energy Services division, following the recent acquisitions of Andrews Associates, a power systems design and engineering service, Modus, a specialist in building complex power networks and substations, and Integrum, a specialist in HV power transmission and distribution engineering.  These acquisitions, combined with the in-house energy capabilities that exist within OCU, are helping position OCU’s Energy Services division as one of the leading contractors of choice as the UK transitions to a zero-carbon economy.


About OCU: 

OCU is an innovative service provider in the Utilities and Energy Industries, operating on a national scale. The Group delivers a wide range of client-focused business solutions throughout the UK and Ireland, working with a large blue-chip client base in all utility areas including Power, Energy, Telecoms, Water, Rail and Directional Drilling. 

On the 4th of August 2022, OCU was acquired by Triton Partners, one of Europe’s leading investment firms. Triton was founded in 1997, with a belief in engaging with boards, managers, and employees to build better businesses, primarily in Northern Europe. The company focuses on developing medium-sized companies with the potential to create sustainable, long-term value. Triton operates from 12 offices across the world with their current portfolio of companies having combined annual revenues of over €18bn. 

About Hornbill

Hornbill employs c.150 staff and specialises in HV and LV renewable energy and de-carbonisation infrastructure projects. Its scope of services includes concept design, manufacturing and assembly, installation, testing and commissioning and ongoing routine and reactive maintenance.  It has recently invested and opened a new power training academy which incorporates a fully equipped workshop to replicate real life working environments.

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