Employment services company Optionis was looking for a backer experienced in driving acquisitive growth. Inflexion led the buyout of the business in 2006, and grew it through a series of value-enhancing acquisitions before exiting with a sale to MML Group in 2013.

  • Sector

    Business services

  • Headquarters

    Warrington, UK

  • Fund


  • Investment date

    October 2006 - December 2013

  • Status



The company

Established in 2000, Optionis (the parent brand of Parasol, ClearSky and Silverline) is one of the UK’s leading employment services companies. As an employment umbrella company, Parasol provides tax and billing payroll to its flexible employees whose services are contracted to end-clients, typically large blue-chip organisations, whilst Clearsky provides a full range of accounting services for SMEs.

The Inflexion investment

Inflexion led the buyout of the business in 2006 to support the company in its organic and acquisitive growth.

The Inflexion difference

Inflexion supported the major acquisition by Optionis of ClearSky, which provided complementary product streams. We then supported three additional value-enhancing add-ons, all funded with company cash reserves.

During the partnership, profits at Optionis increased by 100%. The company grew into a full-range employment services business for flexible workers. Workers under management increased from 5,500 to over 12,000 during the hold period, while the acquisitions helped the company widen its service offering to include accountancy and HR services to SMEs.

Press releases