Winchester Capital is pleased to have initiated and advised on the successful acquisition of Morrison Utility Services, the Leading UK Provider of Utility Infrastructure Services, by First Reserve, a leading global private equity and infrastructure investment firm.
LONDON and GREENWICH, Conn. and HOUSTON – July 21, 2016 – Morrison Utility Services (“MUS” or “the company”), the leading provider of utility infrastructure services in the United Kingdom, today announced an agreement to be acquired by First Reserve, a leading global private equity and infrastructure investment firm exclusively focused on energy, including utilities. Bregal Capital and Motion Equity Partners acquired MUS in March 2008 from Anglian Water Group, investing alongside company management.
With history dating back to 1884, MUS is one of the UK’s leading providers of infrastructure services to utilities, operating in the electricity, gas, water and telecommunication sectors. Operating under long-term contracts, MUS ensures that utilities’ infrastructure assets are continuously maintained, enhanced, expanded and renewed. The company has nearly 4,000 direct employees, with a focus on training and development programs to enhance expertise and dependability.
Commenting on today’s announcement, Charles Morrison, Chief Executive Officer at MUS, said, “MUS has provided high quality services for over 27 years, whilst developing successful and long term relationships with our clients. As an organisation we pride ourselves on the ability to deliver safety, innovation and a quality service placing our clients’ customers at the heart of our business. The growth opportunities in our markets are significant on the back of continued long term investment in the UK’s infrastructure. We thank Bregal Capital and Motion Equity Partners for the great support they have provided to MUS since 2008 and very much look forward to forging a strong partnership with First Reserve during our next phase of growth.”
Edmund Lazarus, Managing Partner of Bregal Capital, and Patrick Eisenchteter, Managing Partner of Motion Equity Partners, commented, “It has been a pleasure supporting Charles and the team at MUS. Since our investment in the company, the team has achieved a huge amount, established the business as a utility market leader in all its key sectors and successfully grown revenues to over £600 million. This successful investment adds to our strong track record of working in partnership with management teams to create value. We wish the team every success as they continue to grow their company.”
Jeff Quake and Neil Hartley, Managing Directors at First Reserve, commented, “We believe MUS’s experienced team has demonstrated an excellent track record of providing best-in-class service with strong alignment to the needs of their customers. We are pleased to continue our model of partnering with what we believe are industry-leading management teams worldwide, and we look forward to supporting the company through a new phase of growth.”
Alex Krueger, Co-CEO and President of First Reserve, added, “MUS represents an opportunity to invest in a diversified and resilient business which, in our view, is not directly exposed to commodity pricing. We expect the company’s long-term revenue visibility, defensible margins and ability to generate free cash flow will further diversify our private equity portfolio. First Reserve is pleased to be able to continue to identify, diligence and execute on what we believe are attractive opportunities to invest across the global energy value chain.”
MUS and its shareholders were advised on the transaction by DC Advisory, Marlborough Partners and Kaye Scholer; while the management team were advised by Wyvern Partners and Pinsent Masons. First Reserve was advised by Winchester Capital and Freshfields. Debt financing has been fully underwritten by HSBC and Societe Generale.
The transaction is subject to European Commission antitrust approval and is expected to close by November 2016.