Arab bankers buy up Aberdeen-based Ashtead Technology

Allan Pirie
Allan Pirie

Buckthorn Partners and the Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation (APICORP) have taken over Aberdeen-based Ashtead Technology for an undisclosed sum.

The deal will enable Ashtead – which provides subsea equipment and services to the N. Sea offshore oil and gas industry to further expand through both organic and acquisition-led growth, with the Middle East a prime target area.

Buckthorn is a London-based investment firm, and APICORP a financial institution established by the 10 member countries of the Organisation of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries. Its aim is to foster the development of Arabian oil and gas industries.

Following this transaction, Phoenix Equity Partners remain as investors with a minority stake in Ashtead Technology.

Set up in 1985, Ashtead Technology employs 75 people in Aberdeen, London and Houston with agents in Abu Dhabi, Perth and Stavanger.

Allan Pirie will continue to lead Ashtead’s management team as Chief Executive, while Nicholas Gee from Buckthorn joins as Chairman.  

Prior to joining Buckthorn, Nicholas Gee was Executive Vice President of Weatherford International. He started his career with BP in the North Sea as a petroleum engineer. Bennie Burger from APICORP also joins the board.

Pirie said: “As the market evolves to cope with the long-term effects of the current oil price, service companies like Ashtead must assist in reducing project cost and risk, helping our customers to focus on their core competences.

“This initial investment coupled with access to further capital will enable us to significantly expand our expertise in subsea inspection, repair and maintenance (IRM) to fulfil our ambition of becoming an integrated services provider.”

Dr Raed Al Rayes, Deputy Chief Executive and General Manager of APICORP, commented: “We are very pleased to have completed the acquisition of a stake in Ashtead.  It perfectly matches our stringent acquisition criteria, and is in line with our strategy of rebalancing our portfolio by making value adding equity investments in the energy sector.

“Ashtead’s market position, cutting edge technology, experienced management and track record of achieving cost savings for their clients in the oil industry leave it well placed to take advantage of the prevailing economic conditions. “

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