More than 50 jobs saved as Aiken bought in pre-pack deal

'The only option was to be placed into administration to protect the creditors' position as best as possible', said Nimmo, head of restructuring at KPMG. Picture: Contributed
'The only option was to be placed into administration to protect the creditors' position as best as possible', said Nimmo, head of restructuring at KPMG. Picture: Contributed
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More than 50 jobs have been saved after an offshore engineering firm was bought out of administration in a pre-pack deal.

Administrators from KPMG were appointed to Aberdeen-headquartered Aiken Group on Thursday, and yesterday a deal was completed to sell the business to Global Energy Group with 55 out of 61 jobs saved.

Aiken Group was established in 1987 and specialised in accommodation modules, providing technicians to offshore oil and gas operators to support the maintenance requirements of their living and catering areas.

KPMG said the company had suffered from “challenging” trading conditions in the oil and gas sector in recent years, which had impacted both sales levels and margin.

“Coupled with this, the company made a significant investment in a sizeable module just prior to the recent oil and gas downturn, which led to a far longer financial commitment than had been anticipated due to contracting appetites for this type of bespoke acquisition,” said Blair Nimmo, head of restructuring for KPMG.

As a result, the company began to experience a build-up of money owed to creditors and required additional funding to address a working capital shortfall.

“The directors endeavoured to obtain funding from various sources and also implemented a sales process to seek to secure additional investment. Despite the director’s efforts, there were no sources of funding available to address the immediate and significant funding need. Ultimately, the only option was to be placed into administration to protect the creditors’ position as best as possible,” said Nimmo.

Global Energy Group, which is based in Aberdeen and Inverness, submitted an offer to acquire the business and certain assets as a going concern.

“The joint administrators fully assessed the position against all other options and determined that implementing an immediate sale was the best option available to maximise realisations and generate the best outcome for the creditors. This also ensured the business can continue to operate and the long-established client base can continue to be fully-supported,” said Nimmo.

A spokesman for new owners said: “We are delighted to conclude the purchase of this business, which brings complementary skills to our existing business, and we look forward to working with the team to ensure we enjoy a long and successful future together.”

Global Energy Group, has interests including the Port of Nigg which is a hub for both the oil and gas and offshore renewables. It has invested some £50 million since taking ownership of the Nigg yard in 2011. It also owns a facility at Invergordon port.