Latest buy strengthens Triton’s presence in North American market

Aberdeenshire company Triton Group said yesterday it had completed its ninth acquisition since its formation in 2007.

It said the deal for Houston-based Equipment and Technical Services (ETS) cemented its position as a fully comprehensive global subsea technology and service company.

No price has been put on the ETS buy, but Westhill-based Triton has now spent more than £100million on acquisitions, with more expected to follow.

Triton, which is backed by Aberdeen and Houston-based private-equity company SCF Partners, now comprises 11 firms employing 600 people worldwide, with total annual turnover of more than £190million.

ETS has 16 staff, annual turnover of £7.5million, and is described as a US leader in the development, sale and rental of equipment and software for offshore survey and marine applications.

Triton Group chief executive Martin Anderson said: “With a strong brand and reputation in the US, ETS continues the expansion of our global rental service model.

“ETS’s offering is complementary to that of other companies in our group, particularly Dynamic Positioning Services (DPS) and gives us a critical mass in the rental of underwater technology products as well as strengthening our presence in the North American market.

“We now have a very well balanced business model, with a global spread of complementary companies.”

ETS president Andy Bogle and vice-president Mike Knight will remain with the company and become shareholders of Triton.

Mr Bogle said: “Being part of Triton Group with its financial muscle and global coverage will enable us to accelerate our growth and build on our already successful collaboration with DPS, which was also recently acquired by Triton.”

Clydesdale Bank’s Edinburgh corporate and structured-finance team and HSBC’s Aberdeen leveraged-finance team provided acquisition and working-capital funding for the latest transaction. They now join Triton’s existing bank, the Royal Bank of Scotland, in a new banking “club”.

Mr Anderson added: “Triton is pleased to have Clydesdale and HSBC in our banking club. The inclusion of both banks provides us with access to further facilities to keep us on the acquisition trail.”

Alan Hamilton, director at Clydesdale’s corporate and structured finance team, said: “Triton is an emerging market leader in subsea products and services and Clydesdale Bank is delighted to support it in its continued expansion.

“ETS is an excellent strategic fit within Triton’s global business model and will further strengthen the group’s position in its core markets.”

Steve Hewes, director of HSBC’s Aberdeen leveraged-finance team, said: “We view this as an excellent opportunity to develop a long and valued relationship with the experienced management team of a market-leading business. The geographic footprint of the business fits well with the HSBC reach of operations and, as the business continues its growth strategy, we are well placed to provide further support.”

Stuart Roberts, head of structured finance at RBS in Aberdeen, said: “This is another excellent acquisition for Triton Group and gives the business even more strength in depth.

“We’re pleased to continue our longstanding relationship with Triton as part of a new banking club that is well placed to support Triton’s business strategy.”