M Group Services was put together by First Reserve, a private equity firm focused on energy, after it took over Morrison Utility Services from Bregal Capital and Motion Equity Partners in 2016. Subsequent acquisitions created a £1bn-turnover group that now also includes Morrison Data Services, Dyer & Butler, Magdalene, PMP Utilities and M Group Services Plant & Fleet Solutions.
First Reserve has now sold on M Group Services to a third private equity group – PAI Partners.
M Group chief executive Jim Arnold said: “Over the past two years, First Reserve’s strategic investment in our group has enabled the successful delivery of our business strategy. This has resulted in continued profitable growth. We have broadened the markets in which we operate, we have diversified our service offering and we have created a strong foundation for future continued success across the utilities, data, transport and telecom markets with their support.
“During the last few months, we have continued to work closely with First Reserve, on the next stage of our growth. As part of this process an opportunity arose that has allowed First Reserve to realise the benefits of their investment to date and for us to introduce PAI, as a new long-term investor to sit alongside the existing senior management and to actively support the future development of the group.”
The sale of the business will complete only after European Commission antitrust approval, which expected by the end of August.
PAI also owns Kiloutou, France’s second largest plant and tool hire company, and roofing products supplier Monier, among other investments. It used to own Spie as well.