Construction deal

Civil engineer RJ McLeod acquired by OCU Group

RJ McLeod will retain its name and staff

Scottish civil engineering company RJ McLeod has been acquired for an undisclosed sum by private-equity backed OCU Group.

The acquisition increases Stockport-based OCU’s revenues to more than £800 million and expands its range of activities.

Specifically, it enhances OCU’s market positions in areas such as battery energy storage systems, wind power, hydro power, substation construction and grid reinforcement.

RJ McLeod, founded in 1951 and operating out of Glasgow and Dingwall, will continue to operate under the same name and retain its 400 staff. It has increasingly focused on renewable energy, particularly onshore wind developments such as the Viking and South Kyle wind farms. 

The deal is the latest in a series of 11 acquisitions completed by OCU Group since being acquired by European private equity firm Triton Partners in August 2022.

RJ McLeod joint MD Bruce Clark said, “Since the business was founded by Roderick John MacLeod in 1951, we have carried the ethos of enabling people to give their best and we are very proud of the team that has brought us to where the business is today.

“Looking forward we see even greater opportunities to maintain and grow the impact of our people and delivery for our clients within the OCU Group family.”

The other joint MD, Graeme Clark added: “RJ McLeod has been operating across mainland Scotland, the Western and Northern Isles for more than 70 years.

“Specialising in civil engineering, often related to complex projects, we have established a valued client base. We believe that joining OCU Group today has increased our ability to provide a more comprehensive service to existing and new clients.”

OCU CEO Michael Hughes said: “RJ McLeod has built an unrivalled engineering expertise and reputation which now further strengthen our offering to clients.

“Together, we are well placed to lead the way in the UK’s energy transition delivery.”

Wilkie acquires US firm

Technical textiles firm Wilkie, headquartered in Kirriemuir, has acquired Bradford Coatings in Lowell, Massachusetts, marking the group’s expansion into North America.

The acquisition will enhance Wilkie’s manufacturing footprint and adds $8 million to its revenue.

Hamish Rowan, chief executive, said: “Our ambitious plans for the Lowell site include substantial investment in research and development, further expanding our technical coating capabilities, and driving growth over the next decade.

“We are enthusiastic about the opportunities this acquisition presents, particularly in military, commercial, and technical coated fabrics markets and we foresee significant potential for added value within the group, such as Wilkie supplying the woven fabrics to be coated and resold by Wilkie America.

“We look forward to collaborating with new and existing customers as we embark on this exciting journey as Wilkie America.

“This acquisition aligns with Scotland’s strategic plan and also promises to inject new life into an already remarkable Lowell based business, paving the way for a prosperous future for Wilkie.”

Partner Craig Martin, who led the deal for accountancy and business advisory firm BDO, added: “Wilkie is a fantastic business with a proud heritage in Scotland and a visionary management team with sights set firmly on global growth.

“It was a pleasure to work with such an ambitious business as it delivers its growth plan and to be able to connect with our US colleagues to deliver this acquisition in the most timely and effective way. We look forward to seeing the next chapter of growth for Wilkie as it further establishes its US presence.”

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