Sale of Aberdeenshire oil services group should not impact on jobs

AN Aberdeenshire-based oil pipeline specialist has been sold to an international group in a deal that will generate a multi-million payout for the founder of the business.

STATS UK has been acquired by SRJ Technologies, which is listed on the Australian Stock Exchange, in a cash and shares deal worth around £73 million.

The sale will allow STATS UK’s founder Pete Duguid to cement his standing as one of the country’s most successful oil services entrepreneurs.

READ MORE: Aberdeenshire pipeline specialist grows sales outside UK amid tough times in North Sea

Under Mr Duguid’s leadership the business developed a range of specialist tools that could be used to maintain the integrity of pipelines that carry oil and gas and other commodities. In 2012 it became the first business in Scotland to win backing from the BGF investment operation.

Mr Duguid retained a stake in the business, which he chairs.

The sale of the business to SRJ, provides a notable vote of confidence in STATS UK amid uncertain times for the key oil and gas industry.

Firms slashed spending on new assets amid the downturn triggered by the pandemic. While oil and gas prices have rebounded, the outlook for investment has been clouded by calls for curbs to be placed on developments on environmental grounds.

READ MORE: Shell’s U-turn on Cambo could mean cuts in jobs in Scotland rather than in emissions

However, this may encourage operators to make the most of existing assets such as pipelines. Subsea expertise gained in the oil and gas business could be deployed in other markets.

SRJ said the acquisition would accelerate its strategic priorities in the asset integrity market.

The company said: “SRJ will leverage the global presence of STATS to exploit cross-selling opportunities … whilst also looking to capture the significant growth opportunities in the energy transition sector.”

READ MORE: Drive for multi-billion investment in subsea power networks launched to support windfarm revolution

SRJ has operations in Australia and Hampshire and headquarters in Jersey.

The deal is not expected to result in redundancies at STATS, which has offices in a range of countries. STATS has 320 staff including 160 in the UK. It secured £7.8m investment from BGF in 2012.

BGF was founded in 2010 by major banking groups such as Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds, as the Business Growth Fund following complaints that lenders were failing to support small and medium sized enterprises.

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