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14 July, 2006 - 13:22 By Staff Reporter

Norwich firm hits UK oil capital with double acquisition

Norwich subsea engineer, Acteon, has added two new companies and 120 staff to its foundations and moorings business in a double acquisition aimed at expanding trade at the heart of the UK offshore oil industry.

Trident Offshore Ltd and Aquatic Engineering and Construction are based in Aberdeen – widely regarded as the UK’s oil capital. As well as underpinning Acteon’s high growth strategy, their purchase – each for undisclosed sums – will serve to provide the Norfolk firm with a much higher profile in the sector.

The purchase of flexible pipelay and retrieval specialist, Aquatic, extends Acteon’s seabed-to-surface capability. Established in 1976, Aquatic employs 70 permanent staff and has a subsidiary in the Netherlands and satellite sales offices in Egypt, Qatar and Southeast Asia, all supporting its Aberdeen HQ.

Trident, a mooring design and installation contractor, was formed in 1986 and has over 50 full-time staff. It specialises in the design and installation of mooring systems for drilling rigs and floating production units and also relocates drilling rigs and provides navigation and positioning services.

Well respected in the international moorings business, Trident has a strong presence in the North Sea and has also worked offshore in West Africa, South America and China; it has built a reputation for its marine engineering skills and project management capability.

Richard Higham, Acteon’s chief executive, said: "This is a good transaction for Acteon and is completely in line with our stated strategy of building a service business that focuses on linking the seabed to the surface.

"Aquatic introduces a new but complementary element to our foundations and moorings division. While the acquisition brings immediate increased exposure to the European region, and Aberdeen in particular, continued development of Aquatic’s innovative equipment and skills are planned internationally.

"The acquisition of Trident reinforces our product and service offering in the foundations and moorings business area; it is also important as it provides a European base for our mooring business and particularly enhances Acteon’s presence in Aberdeen."

Acteon provides specialised engineering services to the international offshore oil industry, focusing on the vital area of offshore oilfield development between the seabed and the surface.

In recent years it has grown strongly through a mixture of organic growth and carefully targeted global acquisitions. Group companies are encouraged to retain their individual drive and character but share knowledge and skills and work closely together for the benefit of clients.

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