ABERDEEN-BASED Viking Moorings has changed hands in a sale believed to be worth more than £180million.
The new majority shareholder is HSBC Private Equity (UK).
The previous main owner was Inflexion Private Equity, while several managers also had a stake in the firm.
Inflexion is putting in more than £25million of the proceeds into the new business, while the Viking managers are also re-investing.
The lenders for the deal were HSBC Bank, the Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds TSB and Clydesdale Bank.
Viking, which also has bases in Norway, Singapore and Australia, is described as a market leader in mooring systems for the global offshore oil and gas industry.
It employs 102 people worldwide.
Viking was created in 2006 when Balmoral Group, of Aberdeen, sold a division of the business – then known as Balmoral Marine – in a £22million deal led by Inflexion.
Simon Turner, managing partner of Inflexion, said yesterday that about £50million had been spent on Viking since it was formed to fund overseas expansion and grow the business.
Annual profits grew sevenfold to £28million in the past three years.
Asked why Inflexion was now selling, Mr Turner said: “We are very good at growing UK businesses and this is now a very big international business and it needs a different kind of main shareholder with international reach, particularly in Asia-Pacific.”
Wolfgang Wandl, chief executive of Viking, said: “We are very pleased to have HSBC as our partner in the development of Viking’s business and are confident that this partnership will enable the management team to further enhance Viking’s market-leading position in the North Sea and internationally, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region.”
Mahmoud Atalla, head of HSBC Private Equity (UK), said: “Viking is run by an exceptional team and we are confident that our partnership with Viking and Inflexion will assist with the business’s further penetration of key emerging markets, where Viking has already exported its highly successful and resilient North Sea-based business.”
Mr Atalla and Tom Ehret, vice-chairman of Acergy Offshore, join the Viking board as non-executive director and chairman respectively, alongside Tim Smallbone, of Inflexion, and the senior Viking management team.