FMC Technologies, of Houston, is acquiring a massive chunk of Schilling Robotics in a deal worth $116million (£80million at current exchange rates), with a view to taking over the whole of the target company by 2014.
Schilling wants to remain an independent entity and is apparently only interested in a minority shareholder at this time. This is why the option to wholly acquire Schilling is not scheduled to kick-in until 2012, when it will be open for two years.
Schilling Robotics is a leading producer of ROVs (remotely operated vehicles), ROV manipulator systems, control systems and other high-technology equipment and services for oil&gas subsea exploration and production. This deep-ocean robotics specialist was founded in 1985. Its customers include offshore oilfield equipment and service providers such as Acergy, Bourbon Subsea Services, Expro North Sea, and Oceaneering International.
Energy understands that Schilling’s current mission is to dramatically expand its market position in all aspects of deep ocean remote control by providing an “open gateway” to which all operators can connect. The agreement with FMC will apparently allow the firm to do this more effectively.
Schilling is headquartered in Davis, California, and has regional offices in Houston and Aberdeen, with a total staff of more than 300.
FMC Technologies chairman, president and CEO Peter Kinnear said of the deal: “This is a unique and exciting opportunity to expand our subsea business in a new direction. Our global subsea franchise will assist Schilling Robotics in extending its reach worldwide and better position it to serve its customers.
Tyler Schilling said: “Our partnership with FMC is a logical outcome of the growth trajectory we have been on for many years. FMC understands and endorses our strategy to introduce innovative digital technologies in response to the growing communications and control challenges facing our customers in the subsea environment.”