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Scots engineer agrees £433m acquisition of Seaboard

Scots engineer agrees £433m acquisition of Seaboard
Scottish engineer Weir Group said yesterday it had agreed to buy US oil and gas equipment manufacturer Seaboard Holdings for £433million.

Scottish engineer Weir Group said yesterday it had agreed to buy US oil and gas equipment manufacturer Seaboard Holdings for £433million.

The deal – boosting Weir’s presence in the booming shale oil and gas industry in North America – is expected to complete next month, subject to regulatory clearance.

Houston-based Seaboard is on course for revenue and earnings of £138.6million and £23.8million respectively this year, said Weir, which focuses on mineral, oil and gas sectors.

Weir chief executive Keith Cochrane said: “Seaboard is a well-managed business, with a strong position in a market that we understand well. The acquisition is perfectly in line with strategy.

“There is great potential to strengthen the business further through our lean engineering and operational processes, and extensive sales and service networks.

“We are confident that the extended market opportunities and medium-term operational benefits will create significant value for our shareholders.

“We retain financial flexibility to pursue organic growth initiatives and further acquisition opportunities in line with our strategy.”

The production of unconventional oil and gas, where hydrocarbons are extracted from shale and sands, has seen huge growth in North America in recent years.

Weir employs more than 500 in Scotland spread between its Glasgow HQ, Alloa and Aberdeen. The Granite City operation services the upstream oil and gas industry.

Weir’s heavy-duty pumps are used to force sand and chemicals into the ground to push out hydrocarbons, while Seaboard’s equipment is used to control pressure in the wells.

Seaboard employs about 400 people at 20-plus sites in North America.

The north’s leading organisation for energy and engineering businesses hailed a successful year yesterday after growing its membership to 150.

Energy North said 30 firms, including Scottish Power Renewables and SSE, had joined this year.

It will hold its annual meeting at Kincraig Castle Hotel in Invergordon today, having already held its first awards ceremony in September.

Chairman Les Clark, a director at Port Services Engineering, said Energy North had increased its profile worldwide over the past 12 months, adding: “Meetings held in Denmark, Portugal and Louisiana proved fruitful, with the prospect of joint-venture opportunities for the region in the near future.

“Energy North is now an extremely active, widely respected and effective organisation, and the Highlands and islands is now one of Europe’s most exciting regions for energy.”

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