Wood Group buys Forth Bridge contractor

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ENERGY services giant Wood Group yesterday snapped up one of the contractors that worked on the Forth Bridge refurbishment as it moves into the specialist coatings sector.

The Aberdeen-based FTSE 100 firm remained tight-lipped over how much it had paid for Gateshead-based Pyeroy Group, which was founded in 1973 and now employs 1,800 staff across eight sites in the UK and Ireland.

Pyeroy Group founder Bob Thompson, 72, will retire following the deal but managing director Hugh Pelham will remain in charge of the business.

The company, which turned a profit of £4.6 million last year on revenues of £88.9m, provides specialist coatings, access and fabric maintenance services to customers in the oil and gas, marine and rail industries.

Pyeroy opened an office in Aberdeen this year to support its “renewables, offshore infrastructure and oil and gas activities”.

Wood Group said that the company will be folded into its Production Services Network (PSN) division and will expand its work in the North Sea.

Robin Watson, chief executive of Wood Group PSN, said: “These services are particularly relevant for extending the life of existing infrastructure and for decommissioning projects. As an example Pyeroy’s expertise on the Forth rail bridge refurbishment can be transferred into the oil and gas sector.”

Pelham added: “We have room for growth in the oil and gas sector and we also have the skills and experience to complement Wood Group PSN’s oil and gas capability.

“We believe that joining Wood Group will enable us to offer a broader service offering to our customers.”

Wood Group employs about 43,000 people in 50 countries and last year turned over $6.8 billion (£4.5bn) through its engineering, gas turbine and PSN operations.