Training firm Atlas eyeing offshore acquisitions

Robert Morgan, chairman of Atlas Knowledge, is eyeing deals in the US. Picture: Contributed

Robert Morgan, chairman of Atlas Knowledge, is eyeing deals in the US. Picture: Contributed

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OFFSHORE training spec­ialist Atlas Knowledge is looking at acquisition opp­ortunities overseas after picking up a multi-million pound contract in Australia.

The Aberdeen-based firm, founded 20 years ago, works in more than 90 countries and chairman Robert Morgan told Scotland on Sunday that he was eyeing possible deals in the US to broaden the reach of its online programmes.

Morgan said: “There aren’t that many businesses to invest in, but we’re looking at it seriously because we are global – we’re operating in 96 markets and every minute of every day, somebody’s doing an Atlas learning event.

“About 40 per cent of our business is now in the North Sea, whereas three years ago only 15 per cent was elsewhere, so we’re really getting out there.”

Atlas, backed by private equity firm HgCapital, is to deliver custom-made training modules and online 3D models for the $34 billion (£22bn) Ichthys liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in Darwin. The offshore scheme, operated by Japanese oil and gas company Inpex, represents the largest discovery in Australia for 40 years and is expected to produce 8.4 million tonnes of LNG a year.

“This is a major project which has seen us work closely with Inpex over a significant period of time to design facility-specific training modules to meet the demands expected of their workforce ahead of production starting,” Morgan said.

First output from Ichthys, which counts French oil major Total and a range of Japanese firms among its partners, is scheduled for the end of next year.

Atlas employs about 100 staff, the bulk of whom are based in Aberdeen.

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