Aberdeen energy service company RBG is the target of a takeover deal which could net its chairman tens of millions of pounds, it emerged yesterday.
Investor Montagu Private Equity is understood to be looking to buy the whole business, including a 50% stake controlled by venture-capital company 3i, in a transaction with a headline value of £200million.
The other 50% of RBG is owned by marine logistics firm Ashley Group, whose majority shareholder is RBG chairman John Ray.
Mr Ray, 62, who lives at Nuffield, Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, founded one of the three firms that were merged to create RBG in 2004.
Rigblast Group was set up by Mr Ray in 1975 and joined forces with MacGregor Energy and Mach-Ten Offshore in the new venture, which has been owned jointly by Ashley Group and 3i from the start.
The latest set of accounts filed by Ashley and signed off in July last year showed Mr Ray owned 80% of its shares – giving him the lion’s share of its 50% stake in RBG.
Montagu and 3i both refused to comment on the takeover move, but RBG confirmed talks were taking place over the future funding of the business.
The spokeswoman for RBG added: “Given the sensitive nature of these discussions, we are unable to release further information at this time.”
It is thought that Montagu, which according to its website aims to create superior returns for investors from “the best led and best positioned companies we can find” is carrying out due diligence at RBG.
Based at Dyce, RBG and its 5,000 employees worldwide provide fabric maintenance and construction support to the global energy industry.
The company’s bases and offices are located in principal areas of energy exploration and production activity, including Azerbaijan, Dubai, Kazakhstan, Qatar, Trinidad, the UK and America.
Its latest set of accounts at Companies House showed pre-tax profits of £5.46million on turnover of £261.84million during 2008.
This was compared with profits of £4.2million on turnover of £224.39million the year before.
Companies House records show that, in addition to Ashley Group and RBG, Mr Ray has a string of other active boardroom roles.