Acquisition Brings Unrivalled Inspection Expertise to the North Sea

Two of the biggest names in inspection services for the oil and gas industry are to join forces following the acquisition of MB Inspection by Dutch-based inspection firm RTD, part of the Spanish multi-national Applus+.

A market leader in inspection and testing services for the oil, gas and petrochemical industries, Aberdeen-based MB Inspection was a subsidiary of Motherwell Bridge Ltd, the Lanarkshire-based engineering firm, Motherwell Bridge Ltd. With turnover approaching £30 million a year and other offices in Falkirk, Stockton and Great Yarmouth, MB Inspection is well established in the UK and currently employs over 350 staff.

Applus RTD is a leading global supplier of inspection and integrity management services to the oil, gas and petrochemical sectors. Together the companies will be able to deliver a comprehensive, inspection and integrity management service to the global oil, gas and petrochemical markets.

Commenting on today's announcement, Frank Ross of MB Inspection said: "This is great news for the future of MB Inspection and comes at an exciting time. We are currently tendering for over £60 million in new business and believe the combined capabilities of our two companies greatly enhance our offering. Demand for specialist inspection services is out-stripping supply and together we will be able to meet demand with a much broader service.

"MB Inspection's current training programmes to meet demand for skills in inspection will now be available across Europe and we will capitalise on RTD's extensive research and development into innovative non-intrusive inspection techniques."

Rob van Doorn, chief executive of the Applus RTD Group, added: "Having already teamed up with MB Inspection last year to work jointly on tenders, we know that the two companies can work together effectively. The acquisition now cements that relationship, giving us the right scale and capabilities to bid for the biggest future contracts in the industry."

Hugh Hayes, chairman of Motherwell Bridge Ltd, said: "The sale of MB Inspection marks another step in the restructuring of Motherwell Bridge which is now very much a modern version of the original business that was founded back in 1898 as an engineering contractor.

"Under the direction of managing director Frank Ross and his team, MB Inspection has built up a robust UK-based business, with its own four sites supporting its activities on client sites across the UK. The company will undoubtedly benefit from being part of the Applus RTD Group.

"Applus RTD is a long established company operating in a similar way around the world and is now reinforcing its strategic presence in the UK. MB Inspection and Applus RTD are extremely complementary, and can benefit from each others' access to markets, techniques and technology.

"The coming together of the two companies will also lead to the creation of a number of new jobs and there are currently vacancies for NDT technicians at all levels at MB Inspection sites throughout the UK."

Mr Hayes added: "I'm really pleased that MB Inspection is transferring to a leading global player in inspection services, as it will enable the company to continue to flourish. The Applus RTD Group is an ambitious and expanding company and these were the main reasons why we were attracted to working with it."