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Grant Thornton reports increase in M&A activity

Barry Fraser, Director of Corporate Finance at Grant Thornton
Barry Fraser, Director of Corporate Finance at Grant Thornton

Aberdeen is seeing an increase in mergers and acquisitions activity as confidence returns to the offshore energy sector, according to Grant Thornton.

The business and financial adviser has reported an upturn in deals, led in part by increased orders and a more positive outlook.

Barry Fraser, director of corporate finance at Grant Thornton in Aberdeen, said: “The last few months have been very busy for the team here.

“Transaction activity in the energy sector may not be back to pre-downturn levels but there’s certainly a return of confidence, with investment increasing, new business being developed and deals now being completed.

“Much of this has been driven by order books and trading activity starting to increase.

“A number of experienced private equity investors and management teams are viewing it as a good time to grow businesses through bolt-on acquisitions, with the likes of BGF and Blue Water Energy backing Rovop and EV backing Westwood Global Energy Group.

“We also saw EnerMech being acquired a couple of weeks ago by the Carlyle Group to continue the expansion of that business.”

He added: “As with all industries, an uncertain political climate brings challenges and the energy sector is not immune to this threat.

“Another risk is access to a skilled workforce when activity rises – this can create a war for talent, resulting in rising costs. Despite those fears, we’re in a far better place in the market.”

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