Four brothers who founded a fast-growing oil service firm in the north-east less than seven years ago are to share nearly £100million following its sale yesterday.
Qserv, which now has more than 350 employees worldwide, has been bought by Norwegian group Aker Solutions.
Despite the change in ownership, the Dreelan brothers – Tommy, 52, Sean, 49, Mike, 45, and Ciaran, 34 – will continue in their roles with Qserv as it expands worldwide, creating hundreds of new jobs in the process. They are to stay with the operation well into the next decade and, if ambitious growth targets are met by 2010, could be in line to double their initial payout from Aker.
Managing director Tommy Dreelan is a car fanatic, but would not be drawn on whether he will be investing any of his money from the deal in his hobby. “I haven’t thought what to do with it,” the leading businessman told the Press and Journal.
The managing director, a former Grampian Industrialist of the Year, said that the Qserv name and identity would not disappear after the takeover.
The operation – to be renamed Aker Qserv – will still operate from its Portlethen HQ. Mr Dreelan said the backing of Aker would help the business achieve its goal of doubling annual turnover to £100million and increasing the workforce to 700 by the end of this decade.
He said his firm, which offers well, process and pipeline services, was a perfect fit for Aker’s well services operation which currently had virtually no presence in the UK. Qserv also hopes to break into the Norwegian market following yesterday’s deal. The managing director said other groups had been interested in acquiring Qserv, but he and his brothers had been careful to choose someone who would help expand the operation, not destroy it.
He added: “The company will benefit from Aker’s infrastructure and support network, while retaining our independent approach, reputation and track record to develop further.
“This acquisition is about creating a new business capable of offering a combined range of services across the globe to meet our clients’ current and future demands, in a marketplace where resources are tight and costs are high.”
Mr Dreelan praised the “absolutely tremendous” performance of the Qserv management team and the employees for its success to date. The sale of Qserv is the second big-money deal involving the Deelans in a decade. PSL was sold by Tommy, Sean and Mike for £45.5million in 1998.