Aberdeen company Offshore Hydrocarbon Mapping (OHM) revealed yesterday it was in early stages of discussions which may lead to an offer being made for the firm.
Shares in OHM soared to close the day up nearly 90% at 13.25p, however, this was still well off the 52-week high of £2.40 at the end of last year.
OHM specialises in surveying for oil and gas using controlled-source electromagnetic imaging (CSEM).
It made no mention of who the discussions were with, but among possible candidates could be Norwegian rival EMGS. No comment was available from EMGS.
OHM, which employs 125 people including 40 in Aberdeen, said: “The board notes the recent share price movement and confirms that it is currently in the early stages of discussions which may or may not lead to an offer being made for the company. There can be no guarantee that any formal offer will be forthcoming.”
At the start of last month OHM said it was continuing to experience difficult trading conditions. It said demand for surveys remained relatively low, with the spring and summer season in the North Sea providing less work than it had hoped for.
OHM added that there were still delays to the award of substantial contracts elsewhere. It said that, in the past year, nearest competitor EMGS had five CSEM vessels available for work while OHM had two: OHM Express and OHM Leader.
It added: “The combined vessel-utilisation figures are unacceptably low and suggest there is overcapacity in this area. OHM understands that its nearest competitor is making moves to reduce capacity and seeks to play a role in achieving market balance by temporarily subcontracting OHM Leader.”
OHM floated on the Alternative Investment Market in 2004. It was founded in June 2002 to commercialise technology resulting from research into electromagnetic sounding carried out at Southampton University’s oceanography centre, and was initially based in the Hampshire city. It relocated its HQ to Aberdeen in 2004.