Aquaterra gets financial boost from private equity firm

Aquaterra Energy, an offshore engineering solutions provider, has secured a multi-million-pound investment from EV Private Equity as the company prepares for expansion.

The deal is the first to be agreed following EV’s pledge last year to invest $200 million in North Sea businesses with new technologies and high growth potential.

The independent private equity firm said it was seeking to invest between $10 and $40 million in each company.

Aquaterra provides riser systems, offshore structures and rental equipment to the global oil and gas industry. It recently designed, fabricated, and installed a new Sea Swift platform for Pico Petroleum Integrated Services on the Amal field in the Gulf of Suez, offshore Egypt. As a result of another deal, the company is supplying high-pressure riser equipment for a subsea abandonment project in the central North Sea.

The company said that it was also seeing growing interest from operators in its specialist ‘WellStart’ service, aimed to minimize third party interfaces in early stage well construction.

George Morrison, managing director of Aquaterra Energy, said: “We have a robust plan for service, and product expansion including a strong focus on our WellStart capability 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.

“We have exciting opportunities for ongoing investment in new technologies and will be looking to maximize value from our innovative field development solutions including Sea Swift, WellStart and riser analysis.”

Greg Herrera, senior partner at EV, said: “EV is excited to partner with Aquaterra and to have the opportunity to work with the company’s talented management team and employees. We believe this will be an excellent platform for both organic and acquisition based growth opportunities.”

As part of the deal with EV, a refinance package was agreed with HSBC. “We look forward to working together with Aquaterra’s highly regarded management team and sector specialist investors EV Private Equity over the years to come,” said Keith Robertson, associate director at HSBC.

Also, Aquaterra appointed Alan Wilson as its chairman. Wilson is a chartered engineer with 33 years of experience in the oil and gas industry. Apart from his experience in senior executive roles in the industry, he has also served as chairman and non-executive director of other private equity-backed and privately owned companies within the oil and gas sector.

“Aquaterra Energy has achieved impressive growth and success in the international oil and gas market by providing world-class products and services, and I’m delighted to join the board at such an exciting phase of the company’s development,” said Wilson.

The company has also appointed its co-founder Mark Boyd and the former CEO of Expro, Gavin Prise, as non-executive directors.

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