Amec jettisons N. Sea assets to gain regulator approval for £5bn merger with Wood Group

Robin Watson
Robin Watson

North Sea oil and gas support services operator Amec Foster Wheeler is to sell off almost all of its upstream assets to overcome a regulatory hurdle to its merger with Aberdeen-based Wood Group.

The British competition commission (CMA) last month issue a statement warning of its concerns that the merger would reduce market competition and warned the companies to come up with a solution or face an investigation.

It will now open a public consultation on Amec’s planned asset sell-off. A CMA spokesman explained: “It is crucial that competition is maintained in this major UK industry.

“We will consider the undertakings offered by Wood Group and Amec Foster Wheeler further, and carefully consult interested parties, in order to make sure that they fully address our concerns.”

The CMA is due to announce its final decision on the takeover by 12 October 2017.

Meanwhile, the CMA’s provisional decision does not require Amey to actually conclude the sale of N. Sea assets prior to completing its merger with Wood Group.

Robin Watson, Chairman, Wood Group, said the CMA announcement was an “important milestone” and added; “It gives us urther confidence in our ability to complete the transaction in quarter four this year”.

Amec Foster Wheeler also welcomed the latest development: Chief Executive Jon Lewis said:

“Our offer of a proposed remedy in May and the early commencement of the sale process to potential buyers of the upstream oil and gas business has ensured we have navigated this process ahead of schedule, increasing the likelihood that the transaction with Wood Group will close in Q4 this year.”

16 Aug 2017

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