Marine firm acts to capture assets

Industry news
Industry news

Marine service company James Fisher and Sons has bought more assets from companies left stricken by the collapse of Norwegian group Reef Subsea.

Reef went into liquidation in February after its backers withdrew their support due to the drop in oil prices, plunging Aberdeen-based subsidiaries Specialist Subsea Services (SSS) and X-Subsea into administration.

Last month James Fisher pounced to buy SSS assets, and yesterday said it had shelled out £14.8million on equipment and patents owned by X-Subsea Holdings.

X-Subsea, which itself had two subsidiaries in Aberdeen, was put into administration late last month at a cost of 20 Granite City jobs.

The company’s six overseas employees, who were retained initially, are now also out of work following the completion of a contract they were working on.

Before it got into trouble, X-Subsea described itself as the world leader for specialised dredging and controlled flow excavation services for the oil and gas, renewable-energy and civil engineering industries.

James Fisher’s purchase of the dredging and excavation equipment — announced yesterday — brings to a close the sale of X-Subsea’s assets.

James Fisher chief executive Nick Henry said: “The transaction strengthens and consolidates our position in subsea services, and will enable James Fisher to become the global leader in mass flow excavation.”

The administrators said they were pleased to have found a buyer in James Fisher, which has a facility in Oldmeldrum, Aberdeenshire, in the face of interest from abroad.

Joint administrator Iain Fraser, a partner at insolvency specialists FRP, said: “There was international interest in the (X-Subsea) assets and we are pleased that they will be retained in Aberdeenshire and hopeful that new employment opportunities might arise.”