ABZ Group Makes Third Acquisition

ABZ Group has completed its third deal since forming last year with the acquisition of a major part of the NE Group, an international corrosion engineering services provider based in Aberdeenshire.

The purchase includes NE Group's base in Kintore, now trading as North East Corrosion Engineers Ltd, and NE Cathodic Protection Ltd in Liverpool, trading as Cumberland Cathodic Protection (CCP), which was founded in 1912 and purchased by NE Group in 2004.

Backed by Aberdeen Asset Management Private Equity and the Royal Bank of Scotland, ABZ Group's purchase of NE Group is its third since forming in May 2005, following the acquisition of Cairngorm Holdings and Labtech Services, both located in Aberdeen.

Additional management strength has been brought in to support the existing management team to oversee the successful running of NE Group following the departure of its former directors who are believed to be concentrating on other business pursuits in the Middle East.

The 15-strong workforce in Kintore and Liverpool have been retained and as part of plans to expand the group's capabilities, its new owners are currently looking for additional corrosion monitoring staff for its Aberdeen operation and extra personnel for its base in Liverpool.

The acquisition of the NE Group gives weight to the company's aggressive growth strategy to increase group turnover from £6 million to £50 million in three years. The international growth of ABZ Group is a key element in the company's expansion plans and it is anticipated that a significant number of jobs will be created over the next 12 months.

The deal reinforces ABZ Group's ambitious plans to create a portfolio of companies providing diverse products and services to the global energy industry.

"The NE group of companies has been providing corrosion monitoring, cathodic protection, inspection, engineering and maintenance services to the oil and gas industry worldwide through their offices in the UK, Middle East and Asia for nearly 20 years. In that time, they have built an impressive client base that attracted our attention," commented ABZ Group managing director Andy Bruce.

"We saw this as an ideal opportunity to enhance our product and service offerings on a wider global platform that will serve as a springboard for further aggressive international growth.

"ABZ Group is actively recruiting additional staff and making further funds available to support our exciting development plans. We are looking forward to a rewarding future for our most recent acquisition, with increased benefits to new and existing customers."