International offshore energy service firm Helix Energy Solutions (HES) has sold its north-east subsidiary for less than it spent on acquiring it a few years ago.
Houston-based HES said yesterday that energy service giant Baker Hughes had paid £17million for its Helix RDS consultancy business, based at Westhill.
Helix RDS is a provider of reservoir engineering, geophysical, production-technology and other specialised consulting services to the upstream oil and has industry.
HES acquired the business in November 2005 in a £17.8million cash deal which secured windfalls for Paul Moore, the north-east firm’s founder and managing director, plus other senior bosses at the firm.
Investment company 3i, with a 10% stake, also cashed in from the deal.
The buyer was Cal Dive International which later changed its name to HES.
Nathan Meehan, vice-president of reservoir technology for Baker Hughes, said: “Baker Hughes has always had a major presence in Aberdeen and we are very excited that Helix RDS has joined us.”
Helix RDS, which has more than 120 staff working at offices in Aberdeen, London, Malaysia and Australia, said the latest acquisition was the result of the firm’s “strong track record of successful execution of exploration, development and production management projects.
Managing director John Harris added: “This is a great strategic fit. We will continue to grow and develop our services and capabilities at a time of difficult market conditions.”
The last set of accounts filed by Helix RDS at Companies House show 2007 pre-tax profits of £1.19million on turnover of £16.34million. In the previous year, it made a £3.4million pre-tax surplus on turnover of £19.5million.
The accounts also reveal Mr Moore stepped down from the board in April last year.
With Baker Hughes, Helix RDS will form part of a reservoir technology and consulting group alongside two other firms, Gaffney, Cline and Associates and GeoMechanics International. Each will continue to operate as stand-alone consulting firms but will share technology, expertise and resources.