Buckthorn Partners and the Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation (APICORP) have acquired Ashtead Technology, a leading independent provider of subsea equipment and services to the offshore oil and gas industry.
The undisclosed funding package from Buckthorn a London-based investment firm, and APICORP a financial institution established by the ten member countries of the Organisation of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries, will allow Ashtead to further expand its service offering through both organic and acquisition lead growth. The investment will also enable Ashtead to expand its geographical reach, with the Middle East being a particular area of interest and focus for the company.
Since its launch in 1985, Ashtead has grown to become a leading independent provider of subsea technology and services to the oil and gas industry with a strong customer base built on trust and quality. With offices in the UK, Houston and Singapore, Ashtead is focused on delivering cost savings and value-added services to its customers.
Allan Pirie will continue to lead Ashtead’s management team as Chief Executive Officer. Nicholas Gee from Buckthorn joins as Chairman and Bennie Burger from APICORP also joins the board.
Mr Pirie said: “This deal signals confidence both in our business and in the long-term direction of the market sector in which we operate. It’s a great outcome for Ashtead’s customers, suppliers and staff around the world.
“As the market evolves to cope with the long-term effects of the current oil price, service companies like Ashtead must assist in reducing project cost and risk, helping our customers to focus on their core competences. This initial investment coupled with access to further capital will enable us to significantly expand our expertise in subsea inspection, repair and maintenance (IRM) to fulfil our ambition of becoming an integrated services provider.”
Mr Gee commented: “With its long subsea heritage, strong management team and robust market position Ashtead is well placed to make the most of the current market conditions. Its reputation, expertise and quality of operations and management systems are cornerstones on which we will build. Our objective is to develop an innovative business that will bring new services to reduce cost and risk, and add value to customers throughout the value chain. The market fundamentals for subsea services remain strong and Ashtead Technology is in great shape to play a crucial and defining role in this sector.”
Prior to joining Buckthorn, Nicholas Gee was an officer and Executive Vice President of Weatherford International. He started his career with BP in the North Sea as a petroleum engineer.
Dr Raed Al Rayes, Deputy CEO and General Manager of APICORP, commented: “We are very pleased to have completed the acquisition of a stake in Ashtead. It perfectly matches our stringent acquisition criteria, and is in line with our strategy of rebalancing our portfolio by making value adding equity investments in the energy sector. Ashtead’s market position, cutting edge technology, experienced management and track record of achieving cost savings for their clients in the oil industry leave it well placed to take advantage of the prevailing economic conditions. We are looking forward to working with Ashtead’s executive team and applying our own regional industry knowledge to achieving further growth.”
Following this transaction, Phoenix Equity Partners remain as investors with a minority stake in the business.