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Sovereign backed Arkarius joins forces with Optionis

10/01/17

Sovereign Capital, the UK private equity Buy & Build specialist, is pleased to announce that portfolio company Arkarius Group, the UK’s largest group providing accounting services to the flexible workforce, has joined forces with Optionis, the largest employee solutions operator in the UK. The combined Group, which will operate under the Optionis brand, is four times larger than any other competitor in the UK but still with less than 10% combined market share.

Sovereign originally backed the simultaneous investments of SJD Accountancy and Nixon Williams in a transaction worth £100m in September 2014 (creating the Arkarius Group) and since then, the group has delivered strong organic growth. Founded in 2000, Optionis provides accounting, payroll, tax and professional employment solutions to the flexible workforce through a multi-brand strategy which includes ClearSky Contractor Accounting, Parasol, ClearSky Business and Brian Alfred.

The combined group, which has c.40,000 clients, will address all channels to market and enable a more diversified service offering across its national network of offices. The businesses will continue to operate under their respective brands within the Optionis Group structure, receiving the investment and support to further develop their offering.

Optionis Founder and Group Managing Director, Derek Kelly, will become Group CEO and Simon Curry, Arkarius CEO becomes Group Operations (SJD & Nixon Williams) with additional responsibility for the integration plan. Jeremy Newman the chairman of Arkarius, formerly the CEO of BDO International and the Managing Partner of BDO UK, will be chairman of the enhanced group.

Jeremy Morgan, Partner, Sovereign Capital commented, “We are delighted to be bringing together these two market leading groups which will enhance the growth opportunity of the underlying businesses in this highly fragmented market. This is a first class management team with a strong track record in the market and we look forward to working with them as the enhanced Group develops.”

Derek Kelly, Optionis Founder and Group Managing Director, said, “Bringing these two groups together will produce a player of exceptional scale and capability in the market ensuring that contractors and agencies experience an unparalleled level of service.  I am extremely proud and excited to be leading the combined group.”

 

For further information please contact: Julie Sieger, Sovereign Capital, on +44 (0)20 7340 8800 or email:juliesieger@sovereigncapital.co.uk