Oil and gas engineer sold to management in £14m deal

Maven's Jock Gardiner, left, and Rmec managing director Bryan Fagan celebrate the deal. Picture: Derek Ironside
Maven's Jock Gardiner, left, and Rmec managing director Bryan Fagan celebrate the deal. Picture: Derek Ironside
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A SPECIALIST engineering company servicing the oil and gas industry has been bought in a £14 million management buy-out.

Forfar-based Rmec, which works with customers in the oil and gas sector, has been acquired in the deal backed by private equity firm Maven Capital Partners’ Aberdeen office.

Major Rmec shareholders and founders Alan Ramsay and Stuart Mathers will remain as part of an expanded management team at the company, which rents, sells and maintains well services equipment.

Maven has invested £7.5m as part of the deal, which represents its seventh oil and gas transaction in nine months and takes its recent investments in North-east energy services companies to £30m.

Rmec, which was founded a decade ago, will be led by the newly appointed managing director, Bryan Fagan, formerly part of the management team that successfully sold the Aberdeen-based Dominion Gas to US firm Praxair in a £100m deal last year.

Fagan said: “Rmec has a strong platform on which to build. This capital injection will fast-track our aim of becoming a major player in well services, offering a competitive solution with a best in class, personalised service.”

Rmec, which employs 20 staff, is expected to see turnover this year reach around £9m.

Jock Gardiner, partner at Maven, said: “Rmec is operating in a rapidly growing market and has the opportunity to capture significant market share. The business has built-up an excellent reputation in the market for speed, flexibility and quality of its service.

“Its comprehensive range of tools are capable of performing work to the highest safety and reliability standards and this has led to the business securing a number of contracts with large blue-chip clients.”

Gardiner said the number of transactions Maven has completed in the energy services sector in the past year demonstrated the strong pipeline of M&A activity in oil and gas.

“It also underlines Maven’s ability to identify and work with dynamic companies, supporting their strategic development and operational growth,” he said.

Corporate finance specialists to the energy sector, Simmons & Company International, advised Rmec’s founders on the deal.

Nick Dalgarno, managing director of Simmons in Aberdeen added: “This is an excellent deal for the founders and new investors, realising the value of the current business and setting the company up for significant future growth. Rmec will undoubtedly benefit from this partnership with Maven, which has a proven record in working with management teams to deliver strategic goals.”

Earlier this week Maven led a £4.6m deal that will bring IT firm ISN Solutions to Scotland, with entrepreneur Tom Smith in the chair.

ISN Solutions, which specialises in the upstream oil and gas industry, has so far concentrated on clients south of the Border but the investment will see it open an office in Aberdeen.

Smith, who sold his oil and gas telecoms firm Nessco in 2012 for around £31m, will join the business as chairman on a mission to support the company’s growth strategy.

Glasgow-based Maven now employs around 40 staff in six offices throughout the UK, and specialises in finance for small and medium-sized companies.