Reservoir Group, the Aberdeen-based oil and gas services firm, has agreed to a $533 million (£353m) takeover by Australian commercial testing specialist ALS.
The group is currently owned by US private equity house SCF Partners and senior management have agreed to stay with the business following the deal, which is expected to be completed early next month.
Reservoir is chaired by SCF managing partner and oil industry veteran Cris Gaut, while its chief executive is Dubai-based Pascal Bartette.
The group burst on to the oil and gas scene in 2007 with the management buyout of Corpro, which was founded in the late 1980s. That deal provided the foundations for Reservoir to build a global business focused on drilling products and services. Along with its Aberdeen base, it has major operations in Dubai, Houston and Edmonton in Canada.
Reservoir, which generated underlying pre-tax profits of $44m last year, on revenues of $223m, employs more than 900 people, including 100 in Aberdeen. It specialises in analysing oil and gas discoveries, extracting samples of rock to help oil and gas operators pinpoint the location of reserves and work out how best to exploit them.
ALS chief executive Greg Kilmister said the acquisition will help the Australian group expand its range of services and should boost earnings per share from next year.
He added: “Reservoir’s specialist services and equipment deliver high-margin, technical and patented niche solutions.
“The acquisition will considerably broaden our capabilities in upstream oil and gas and will strongly complement our existing laboratory services.
ALS employs more than 13,000 people and is one of the world’s largest testing companies. Its rivals include the likes of FTSE 100 industrial giant Intertek, which last year appointed Scottish Enterprise chief executive Lena Wilson as a non-executive director.
The group also announced yesterday that it had agreed to buy fellow Australian firm Earth Data for A$18m (£11m). Earth Data, which has about 60 staff, provides gas sampling and analysis services for the oil and gas industry, along with coal miners.