Norway: HitecVision Acquires Tampnet from Statoil

Statoil and HitecVision have signed an agreement under which HitecVision will acquire Statoil’s subsidiary Tampnet AS.

Tampnet operates a large high capacity communication network between offshore installations. Established by Statoil in 2001, Tampnet has since grown to serve 34 oil and gas fields and carrying traffic for over 60 platforms operated by a multitude of oil companies. Pioneering the industry, Tampnet has developed a high capacity, resilient and low latency communication network of fibre backbone cables and radio links, serving both the Norwegian and the UK sector of the North Sea.

Statoil’s core business is oil and gas production, but in order to foster new technologies, Statoil sometimes takes ownership of early stage technologies or businesses to provide funding and stable ownership to facilitate growth.

Investment Director Sigurd Paulsen in Statoil, and Chairman of Tampnet, states: “Since establishing Tampnet we have been able to grow the business substantially to the point where it is now a successful and profitable company providing critical communication services to both Statoil and many other oil and gas companies in the North Sea. Tampnet has been matured to a stage where further growth can best be managed independently. We believe this solution is a good one for Tampnet and its customers. The company has further growth potential in Norway, however the major potential for further growth lies in international expansion, and we believe that this expansion best can be provided by independent owners.”

Gunnar Halvorsen, Senior Partner of HitecVision, comments: “We are impressed by the development of Tampnet under Statoil’s ownership, and are pleased to have been entrusted by Statoil to become the new owners of the company.

Tampnet, being a niche supplier of critical services to the oil and gas companies, is typical of the sort of company HitecVision invests in. As offshore oil platforms are becoming more automated, and integrated operations between teams onshore and workers out on the platforms increase in scope and complexity, reliable communications facilities become ever more important. We have followed and invested in this segment before, and believe Tampnet has great future potential. We look forward to working with the company’s management to develop it further.”

Per Helge Svensson, Managing Director of Tampnet, adds: “We have had a great co-operation with Statoil as owner and customer, and look forward to continuing a close relationship. HitecVision as a new owner is welcomed by both Tampnet management and employees. We know HitecVision as a leading investor for our type of company, with a strong track record in this segment, and we have noted the success of previous investments. With this strong investor backing, we will be able to grow Tampnet further as the preferred supplier of high quality communications services to the global oil and gas industry.”

The transaction is subject to approval from relevant competition authorities, and is expected to close in August. Tampnet will continue its operations as before, under the present management. RBC Capital Markets acted as exclusive financial advisor to Statoil on the transaction.

Source: Statoil,July 7, 2010;

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