Aberdeen load-testing firm looks to grow footprint after sale to peer

Unique Group, an offshore engineering services and equipment provider, has sealed the acquisition of Aberdeen-headquartered Water Weights on undisclosed terms.

Alan Milne, MD of Water Weights, with Graham Brading, group director, buoyancy and ballast, at Unique Group. Picture: Contributed

The load-testing equipment provider will bolster Unique Group’s established buoyancy and ballast division as it extends its geographical reach.

Unique Group said its manufacturing and global supply chain capability, along with Water Weights’ distribution capabilities, would provide “significant synergy potential” to reach clients globally.

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Both companies will share their large network of partnerships and distribution agreements at regional bases around the globe, complemented by integration with other Unique business units.

Water Weights was established in 1979 and is said to have “revolutionised” the practice of proof load testing with the introduction of the “water filled proof load bag”.

The conventional method of using steel or concrete weights to test the safe working operation of cranes on North Sea oil and gas installations was a high cost to the industry as well as a potential safety issue.

Water Weights operates from a total of nine offices, with a presence in the UK, the Netherlands, the US and Canada. In addition, the firm’s international group of associates and approved operators offer a worldwide network of services in more than 30 countries.

Unique Group produces its flexible buoyancy and ballast products at a state-of-the-art facility on the Isle of Wight.

Graham Brading, group director, buoyancy and ballast, at Unique Group, said: “We are excited to combine the expertise of Water Weights with our own. Through our existing buoyancy & ballast capability we specialise in the manufacture and distribution of air-filled buoyancy bags.

“With the addition of the Water Weights business, we further strengthen our position in supply of equipment and services to the load-testing industry.”

Melfort Campbell, former principal shareholder of Water Weights, said: “This is an exciting development for Water Weights. Joining Unique Group gives us the opportunity to grow further, both in terms of geographical reach and depth of service offerings.

“There is a great synergy with Unique Group which has a strong global presence in all of our markets and is well placed to continue supporting our clients. It is a great opportunity for the Water Weights employees to continue to develop and grow the business.”