Aberdeen marine technology firm Nautronix had fallen £1million into the red ahead of it being bought out by Proserv, accounts posted at Companies House have shown.
Private equity-backed Proserv snapped up the firm in September although the terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Nautronix boss Mark Patterson, who joined Proserv’s senior management, said the deal with the larger energy services group provided his firm with “considerable opportunities” and global exposure.
Nautronix’s accounts show that turnover fell 16% to £15.9million in the year to 30 June, while pre-tax profits went from £1.7million in 2015 to a £1million loss.
Nevertheless, the company said it would “continue to spend on R&D” (research and development). In the same period, capital expenditure and financial investment rose 80% to £2.7million.
The firm, which was majority owned by private equity group SCF Partners before the sale, said it had “significant financial resources together with several long term contracts with a number of customers”.
“As a consequence, the directors believe that the company is well placed to manage its business risks successfully despite the slowdown in some of its markets,” it added.
During the year, employees at the company rose from 124 to 136. It’s highest paid director also enjoyed a 13% rise in his pay and pensions packet to £602,000.
Proserv, backed by US-based Riverstone, said the deal had been long in the making before the oil price crash, and that the rationale for it remained strong when the deal closed in September.
David Lamont, the chief executive of the Westhills-based company, recently said he envisaged implementing Nautronix technology more widely across a range of field development activities.
Nautronix has developed a subsea positioning system using acoustics called NASnet.
Mr Lamont recently told Energy Editor Jeremy Cresswell: “It’s basically underwater GPS. In a development, the rigs are using it, vessels are using it, ROVs are using it, everyone’s singing off the same sheet. Now, if we can integrate it into production, you then have one platform for everything in your field development.
“It’s about getting them all talking the same language. With some hardware adjustments, we’re not that far away,” he added.
Mr Patterson led the acquisition of Nautronix in 2002 and sold it to SCR for tens of millions eight years later, staying on as the firm’s chief executive.