IMES, which had a turnover of around £5 million, was cash generative in 2014 before it began to experience cash flow challenges in 2015 due to the ongoing oil price decline.
This resulted in a fall in client orders, as operators in the oil and gas sector began to cut costs and actively target reductions in both capital and operating expenditure.
Continuing cash flow pressures led to the directors attempting to secure new investment into the Company. When this could not be obtained, the IMES directors marketed the company for sale. Following this process a preferred bidder was identified and a period of exclusivity granted.
Accountants KPMG LLP were appointed as Joint Administrators of IMES Limited on 10 August 2016 at the request of the IMES directors.
Immediately following this appointment, the trading business and certain assets of IMES were acquired by the Seanamic Group, which is based in Govan, Glasgow. It provides surface-to-seabed systems to the oil and gas sector, including offshore cabling.
All 49 IMES staff were transferred as part of the transaction: 23 of the employees are based in Aberdeen with the remainder located in the company’s depots in Rosyth (6), Sheffield (7), Portsmouth (6) and Plymouth (7).
The other group companies, IMES Group Holdings Ltd, IMES Group Ltd and US subsidiary IMES Inc remain “unaffected” by insolvency proceedings for IMES Ltd.
Blair Nimmo, Joint Administrator at KPMG, commented: “The administration of IMES is another example of the current challenges in the oil and gas sector – whilst also demonstrating that there is appetite for investment in stressed and distressed businesses in the sector.”
“So, in these difficult times for the oil and gas sector in particular, we are pleased to have concluded the sale to Seanamic Group, which will safeguard the jobs of the company’s employees, preserve customer service and provide the best available outcome for all stakeholders of IMES Limited.”.
ATR win five year lifting deal with Nexen N. Sea
Meanwhile, Aberdeen-based ATR Group has won a new five-year contract supplying lifting equipment and inspection services to one of the UK’s largest oil producing companies.
The equipment management company will manage the co-ordination and mobilisation of 10 rigging lofts to support operations across Nexen’s North Sea assets.
The contract, which has two one-year extension options, will also see ATR Group’s Lifting Solutions division provide inspection services to ensure the equipment, which includes wire rope slings, hoists, shackles and working at height apparatus, is certified to HSE Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998.
Business development director Dave Grant said: “We are pleased to secure this new contract with Nexen. It will provide a great opportunity to fully demonstrate our strengths of providing experienced personnel, quality equipment and value-adding services to our clients and support them in delivering safe and robust operations in the North Sea.”