Business

2,000 Sparrows Group staff to transfer to Altrad

ABERDEEN-based oil services heavyweight Sparrows Group is being acquired by a French group which sees growth potential in the business amid the energy transition.

Altrad has agreed to acquire Sparrows in a deal that looks set to result in around 1,000 Aberdeen-based workers transferring to the new owner.

A spokesperson for Altrad said no redundancies were expected in Aberdeen following the deal.

Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed. It comes ten years after Sparrows was acquired by the AEA private equity business, which was reported to have invested more than £100m in the firm.

The acquisition will give Altrad control of a business which provides services such as crane inspection and maintenance for oil and gas and industrial firms from a network of bases around the world.

The takeover was announced on a day the price of Brent crude reached a seven-year high of $113 per barrel as Russia intensified its assault on Ukraine.

READ MORE: Shell to exit Russia as it deplores loss of life in Ukraine

Sparrows has been expanding in what Altrad described as the high-growth renewables market, helped by the acquisition of the Alpha Offshore wind energy business in 2017.

Mohed Altrad, Founder and President of Altrad, said: “Sparrows is well-respected across all the global locations it operates and is a trusted service provider and supplier to numerous sectors and strategic clients.”

He noted that around 2,000 “skilled and knowledgeable” staff in Sparrows Group’s global operations are expected to transfer to Altrad.

Sparrows Group chief executive Stewart Mitchell said: “We are excited about Altrad’s strategic vision and ambition, and this transaction will deliver many advantages for our clients and employees as we continue on our diversification and growth trajectory.”

Altrad provides engineering services in a range of sectors, including oil and gas and construction, in more than 40 countries and has around 42,000 employees. It has a range of operations across the UK, including a scaffolding services business in Glasgow.

READ MORE: Aberdeen subsea firms expand amid windfarm boom

The oil services sector is attracting attention from investors amid expectations the energy transition will present opportunities for firms with expertise in offshore engineering. In January Aberdeen-based Subsea Technology & Rentals secured investment from Baird Capital.

Sparrows was founded in 1946 as a crane hire business in Bath. The firm moved into the North Sea market in the early days of the oil services industry. In 1976 it supplied cranes used on the landmark Forties field.

Altrad saids the Sparrows Group acquisition is expected to close is expected to close in the second or third quarter of this year, subject to customary regulatory approvals

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