Corrosion Specialist Metacor Undergoes Management Buy-Out

Metacor is planning further growth under new ownership as the result of a £3million management buyout supported by funding from The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS).

Metacor is being acquired by a team led by long-standing managing director Stuart Mortimer, with the aim of capitalizing on its market-leading position in the UK to push fully into the global market within the next five years.

Founded in Great Yarmouth in 2001, Metacor centres on a system developed by a team of structural and corrosion engineers, along with IT specialists, which provides highly-detailed reports on the condition of assets.

After relocating to Aberdeen in 2004, the company expanded rapidly in the offshore oil and gas exploration and production industry, securing deals with Shell and Talisman which cemented its place in the market.

Metacor now has an annual turnover of £5million and global staff of 66, targeted to increase to 80 by January 2009. It has an office in Port of Spain in addition to its Great Yarmouth and Aberdeen bases.

Managing director, Stuart Mortimer, said, "This is an exciting time as Metacor continues to perform extremely well in the highly competitive oil and gas market in all territories, where we have significant opportunities for expansion.

"The global oil and gas industry is focussing more and more on the need to ensure the causes and effects of corrosion are monitored and managed – essential as efforts to sustain the market intensify and the longer-term preservation of assets already in place, as well as new developments, becomes critical.

"We already work with eight of the world’s major producers in BP, Shell, Talisman, Hess, Nexen, CNR International, BG and TAQA.

"And we have already seen the results of the industry's awareness of structural integrity issues increasing, having expanded our staff roster by 40% in the last 12 months in response to client demand.

"This is a trend which will very much continue as maturing assets and new developments require monitoring, which puts us in an excellent position moving forward."

Metacor has the largest pool of inspectors certified by NACE International, the global body leading corrosion engineering, in Europe. Its package and procedures can be applied in any external corrosion situation, including major infrastructure such as bridges or other marine applications including shipping.

A previous recipient of a SMART technology award from the Department of Trade and Industry, Metacor participates in Scottish Enterprise's Global Companies Development Program, which backs organizations with a strong commitment to research and development and new technology, which are capable of rapid international growth.

RBS provided a £1.3m term loan in support of the deal, as well as extending an existing invoice finance line to £1m.

Stuart Roberts, head of structured finance with RBS in Aberdeen, said, "This was an excellent opportunity for us to support a fast-growing Aberdeen business and an existing RBS customer.

"Metacor has a great track record and is operating in a niche market within the oil and gas sector. We wish Stuart and his management team every success as they continue to grow the business and target new markets around the globe."

Johnston Carmichael, and Raeburn Christie Clark and Wallace advised on the deal for the purchasers. RBS was represented by Maclay Murray & Spens.

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