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Expro talks on £410m selloff

Expro talks on £410m selloff
Aberdeen-based oil services business Expro International is in talks to sell its manufacturing business to Siemens for £410million, it was reported last night.

Aberdeen-based oil services business Expro International is in talks to sell its manufacturing business to Siemens for £410million, it was reported last night.

The sale would follow a strategic review into the “connectors and measurements” division of Expro, which specialises in sonar technology for the oil and gas sector.

The business, which employs several hundred people in Aberdeen, was founded in 1973 as Exploration and Production Services (North Sea) Ltd with the objective of carrying out well testing in the North Sea.

In 1986, 84% of the company was acquired by Flextech and the management subsequently bought out the business in 1992.

The company was first listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1994 and in 2006 it acquired PowerWell Services, another leading well management concern.

In May 2008 Halliburton made a £1.7billion takeover bid for the business, while a competing offer worth £1.8billion was made the following month by Umbrellastream, a Candover-led consortium also comprising Goldman Sachs and Alpinvest.

An improved bid from Halliburton was then rejected by the Expro board, a position backed by the high court after an appeal lodged by a group of activist shareholders.

The acquisition of Expro by Umbrellastream was completed on July 1, 2008.

If a deal with Siemens is successful, it is believed it could trigger an auction for the whole company, with Halliburton being the expected buyer.

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