RJ McLeod bought by utilities contractor

Infrastructure and energy company OCU Group has acquired civils firm RJ McLeod for an undisclosed sum.

OCU stated that the acquisition, announced today (11 June), will increase its annual revenue to more than £800m “and grows the capability and capacity for work in supporting the critical UK energy transition” to net zero.

OCU chief executive Michael Hughes said the acquisition “marks a key milestone in the OCU Group journey to become the leading energy transition and utilities contractor in the UK”.

RJ McLeod will continue to operate under its own name. Its joint managing director Graeme Clark said that joining OCU “has increased our ability to provide a more comprehensive service to existing and new clients”.

Glasgow-based RJ McLeod was established in 1951 and was ranked 72nd in the CN100 2023 table of top contractors.

It reported turnover of £210.3m and pre-tax profit of £18.6m in its most recent accounts, covering the year ending 30 October 2022.

This was the first time that the firm’s revenue exceeded £200m but pre-tax profit was down from the previous year’s £25m.

The company employed a monthly average of 441 people in the year, down from 473 in 2020/21.

RJ McLeod focuses on renewable energy, including work to build onshore wind farms as part of the Scottish Government’s target to create 20GW of onshore wind capacity by 2030.

It also has “specialist capabilities in battery storage and hydroelectric projects as well as in grid and substation construction”, OCU Group noted.

RJ McLeod was appointed this January to co-lead a £1bn Scottish utilities works and services framework from Scape, alongside McLaughlin & Harvey.

OCU posted a pre-tax profit of £7.7m from turnover of £454.5m in its most recent accounts for the year to 30 April 2023.

Last November, the firm was chosen with Keltbray Energy and Clancy Group to carry out more than £1bn of upgrades to the electricity network in the South of England, on behalf of Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks.

OCU made four acquisitions in its 2022/23 financial year, among them London-based multiutility specialist Modus for an undisclosed sum last April.

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