AGR to Acquire Excavation and Trenching Provider
Ability Group ASA (AGR), the Norway-based oil technology and services group has agreed to acquire SeaVation Limited, the UK-based global provider of subsea excavation and pipeline trenching services to the upstream oil and gas industry. SeaVation, with headquarters in Aberdeen, specializes exclusively in the design, manufacture and operation of underwater soils engineering systems. The deal is the latest in a series of targeted acquisitions that have contributed to AGR's position as one of the world's leading suppliers of exploration, development and production services to the international petroleum industry.
Sverre Skogen, AGR's Chief Executive Officer, said: "SeaVation represents the cutting edge of hydrodynamic subsea excavation technology and we are delighted to have reached this agreement. The company continues to develop and improve the technology and to introduce new tools and techniques that are highly innovative, satisfy key requirements of the rapidly growing deepwater trenching market and are complementary to existing AGR subsea operations."
He added: "SeaVation is an ideal fit for AGR Subsea. The acquisition will further strengthen our position as the provider of choice for deep and ultra-deep seabed excavation, trenching and geotechnical investigation services."
SeaVation will continue to operate under its own name from its Aberdeen headquarters. Both of the SeaVation shareholders and founders – Nick Sills and George Stroud - have agreed to remain in senior management positions within the larger group.
"We see this as a stepping stone," said Nick Sills. "SeaVation will be able to move forward on an even stronger corporate, financial, technological and managerial platform. This will be good news for our clients, who will see the advantages of our combined operating experience and financial strength, and our personnel who can look forward to extensive opportunities within a larger group."
AGR, based in Straume, near Bergen, has 1,300 staff and an annual turnover of 1,700 million NOK. The group has grown through innovation and development as well as through the acquisition of complementary businesses. In May this year, AGR purchased for £26 million The Peak Group, the Aberdeen-based global provider of well construction services. Ability Group (AGR) was floated on the Oslo Stock Exchange on July 3 2006 with a market capitalization of 3 billion NOK.
AGR is focused on four operating divisions: Petroleum Services, Drilling Services (including AGR Subsea), Integrity Services, and Project Services.
SeaVation, established in 2002, has six onshore staff and six permanent offshore staff with revenues of approximately £3 million expected for 2006. SeaVation specializes in the hydrodynamic method of subsea excavation and provides excavation, pre-sweeping, trenching, backfilling, placement and dredging services around the world.
CIBC World Markets acted as exclusive financial advisors to AGR with respect to this transaction, with McGrigors LLP acting as AGR's legal advisors.
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