MML Capital Partners backs Optionis Group

MML Capital Partners has started the new year strongly with a £16 million growth capital investment into the Optionis Group (“Optionis”).

Optionis provides outsourced support services to SMEs, recruitment firms and professional contractors under its brands ClearSky andParasol.

ClearSky is one of the UK’s fastest growing accountancy practices and with MML’s investment is looking to broaden this offering and establish the ClearSky brand as the “go to” partner for SME’s and micro businesses seeking fixed-fee support and advice on business functions including accountancy, human resources, employment law, tax and payroll.

Parasol is the UK’s largest professional employment organisation (PEO) providing employment solutions to recruitment firms and corporates, as well as tax and compliance services to professional contractors. Bal Johal, Richard Mayers and Robert Devonshire led and executed the deal for MML with both Mayers and Johal joining the Optionis board.

Optionis chief executive Rob Crossland said:

“As a management team we are excited to be re-investing in, and emphasising our commitment to the Group. This deal will support our goal of sustainable growth over the long term, as we look to establish ClearSky as the fixed-fee support provider of choice for Britain’s small businesses, and leverage Parasol’s expertise in workforce management to grow that business. MML is a world-class investment firm, with a track record of partnering with thriving companies and supporting their growth ambitions. We are delighted to be teaming up with them.”

Derek Kelly, managing director at Optionis, added:

“We are already the UK’s leading provider of workforce management solutions in the professional contractor and freelancer space, and are well on our way to replicating this success in the small business arena. There are 4.8m SMEs in the UK, accounting for 99% of all businesses, so the growth potential for a support provider with the necessary expertise and a unique offering is huge.”

Richard Mayers, Investment Director at MML, said:

“We are very pleased to back this exceptional management team led by Rob and Derek, and are hugely excited by the opportunities for Optionis as an outsourced support services provider to the SME sector.”

Bank financing for the transaction was provided by HSBC’s Manchester based leverage finance team led by Noel Jones and Richard Chambers.

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