News Technology

Oakley invests in Phenna Group and CTS Group

Oakley Capital
30.08.22
1 min read

Oakley Capital (“Oakley”) is pleased to announce that Fund V is investing in leading Testing, Inspection, Certification, and Compliance (“TICC”) platform, Phenna Group (“Phenna”), in partnership with co-founders Paul Barry (CEO) and David Harrison (CFO) who are reinvesting into the business.

In parallel, Oakley has also acquired CTS Group (“CTS”), a leading provider of testing and inspection services in the U.K., focussed on the infrastructure market. CTS will become part of Phenna Group upon completion of both transactions.

Phenna Group

Formed in 2018, Phenna has rapidly emerged as one of the fastest growing TICC groups globally, with revenue growth of circa 100% CAGR over the last three years. Today the group comprises 31 independent businesses which provide specialist TICC services across infrastructure, built environment, niche industrial, pharmaceutical and certification and compliance divisions. The business operates across 12 countries in four continents.

Quote Paul Barry

We were attracted to Oakley’s deep expertise in M&A execution and integration, as well as their strong track record in helping businesses to internationalise at scale. As we look to the future, we’re excited to be working with them and together delivering on our mission to grow Phenna into a leading global TICC player.

Paul Barry

Founder and CEO Phenna Group

CTS Group is a leading provider of testing, inspection and geoengineering consulting services in the U.K., primarily focussed on long term civil infrastructure projects. The business has more than doubled revenues over the last three years through organic growth and targeted acquisitions.

CTS will become part of Phenna Group upon completion of both deals. The existing CTS management team will continue to lead the business within the wider group. CTS and Phenna Group offer complementary services. Their combined UK wide network of laboratories, site based services and geotechnical expertise will ensure customers benefit from an expanded service offering.

Phil Coles, CEO of CTS Group, commented: "Oakley’s approach and their track record in driving business growth through M&A complimented that of CTS and our incredible growth story to date. The opportunity that then presented itself to continue this within Phenna, with the immense success that Paul and the team have had to date, was ideal and provides a great future for the business as part of a larger, incredibly ambitious, international group."

Quote Peter Dubens

Phenna Group is exactly the kind of entrepreneurial disruptor that Oakley was founded to support. We are pleased to have been able to help them with the acquisition of CTS Group, one of the pre-eminent testing brands serving UK infrastructure customers. We believe Phenna has the potential to become one of the leading TICC groups in the world and look forward to supporting them to achieve that vision.

Peter Dubens

Founder and Managing Partner Oakley Capital

Market Dyanmics

The global TICC market is worth over £200 billion and remains highly fragmented with the top 10 groups accounting for only 12% of the market. The market is forecast to grow at over 5% p.a. driven by regulatory trends, increased outsourcing, and exposure to growing end markets. Customer demand is typically non-discretionary due to mandatory testing requirements. Customers are highly loyal. Phenna is diversified across multiple end markets and geographies.

Phenna Image

Phenna Group - one of the fastest growing TICC groups globally.

Phenna has emerged as the strategic acquirer of choice for best of breed specialist TICC companies due to its unique partnership approach, which allows leading TICC entrepreneurs to continue to operate their businesses whilst also having all the benefits of being part of a larger global business. Oakley’s investment will allow Phenna to continue to grow rapidly into new verticals and geographies.

Oakley was advised by DC Advisory, Simpson, Thacher & Bartlett, PWC, BCG and KPMG in connection with this transaction.

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