Energy Voice | Private Equity cash boost for Aquaterra

EV Private Equity has dipped into its North Sea kitty for the first time since it unveiled plans to invest more than £150million in the region.

The Norwegian energy sector investor has taken an undisclosed stake in Aberdeen and Norwich-based offshore engineering firm Aquaterra Energy, which is gearing up for service expansion and new technology launches.

Neither side have revealed how much the deal is worth, but it is believed to be in line with EV’s strategy to invest between £7.7million and about £30million per company.

Aquaterra’s reshaped board includes Aquaterra co-founder Mark Boyd and former Expro chief executive Gavin Prise as non-executive directors.

The new chairman is Alan Wilson, a chartered engineer with 33 years’ experience in the oil and gas industry.

George Morrison, who continues as managing director, said: “We have a robust plan for service and product expansion … and the investment will help us to fuel the growth of the business.

“EV’s support to the existing management is a vote of confidence in the hard work of the team and the success that has been achieved during what has been a challenging period for the industry.”

EV senior partner Greg Herrera said: “We believe this will be an excellent platform for both organic and acquisition-based growth opportunities.”

A re-finance package was agreed with HSBC as part of the deal.

Aquaterra’s last published accounts show the firm turned over £23million and employed about 130 people in 2015. It reported pre-tax losses of £2.4million for the period.

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