Cosalt’s offshore business to merge with ATR

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OIL services group Cosalt Offshore is being bought by a private equity company in a deal which will see it merge with fellow Aberdeen-based business ATR Group.

The deal, which was due to be finalised yesterday and which will protect around 250 jobs, was announced as Cosalt Offshore’s parent company said that administrators were being appointed because it had been unable to secure fresh funding.

NBGI Private Equity, which holds a stake in ATR, said the acquisition would combine Cosalt’s technical skills in offshore lifting, inspection, testing and safety services with ATR’s equipment rental service.

ATR chief executive Keith Moorhouse will lead the enlarged group.

He said the deal would be welcomed by Cosalt’s staff, customers and suppliers as “an end to a period of uncertainty”.

“Cosalt has an excellent technical and operational reputation and is an integral part of the supply chain of many of the energy sector’s leading oil service companies and operators,” he said. “The deal will bolster ATR’s growth by opening up the Norwegian market and improve its operational capacity through access to Cosalt’s skilled engineers, technicians and inspectors and its equipment hire fleet.”

Together ATR and Cosalt will employ almost 400 people with a turnover of £55 million and will seek to consolidate and grow the two businesses to over £100m turnover.

Advisers on the deal included Dundas & Wilson, Johnston Carmichael and PwC. Shares in Cosalt have been suspended since May.