Support Services Sector Comment – July 2013


Clearwater’s Support Services team is delighted to announce our latest transactions in the Support Services sector, including the MBO of Armstrong Craven which provided capital to pursue new revenue streams and new territories.

The Support Services sector has seen a significant number of deals during July. One sector in particular, oil and gas support services, has been especially active.

Earlier this year, The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) released a business and government action plan on the strategy for the future of the UK upstream oil and gas sector. This strategy identifies priorities that government and industry will work on together in a long-term partnership. It aims to:

  • Maximise the economic production of the UK’s offshore oil and gas resources
  • Sustain and promote the growth of the UK industry’s supply chain, in both domestic and international markets
  • Promote purposeful collaboration across industry and between industry and government

As part of the strategy plan, the Oil and Gas Industry Council (OGIC) has been created, which is co-chaired by BIS, DECC and a leading member of the oil and gas industry. The OGIC is due to release a report in Q4 2013 to map the UK supply chain to determine areas of constraint and potential opportunities for additional support. The focus to promote growth in the supply chain to the oil and gas sector coincides with record levels of investment in the UK Continental Shelf and the growth of the offshore renewable energy sector, which is likely to stimulate further Private Equity investment and M&A activity in this exciting market.

This month saw a number of deals with the oil and gas support services sector:

  • John Wood Group plc’s acquisition of Pyeroy Group Ltd
  • Sagentia Group plc’s acquisition of OTM Consulting Ltd
  • Aker Solutions ASA’s acquisition of International Design Engineering and Services Ltd
  • Interserve plc’s acquisition of Topaz Oil and Gas Ltd, based in the UAE
  • Chiyoda Corporation’s acquisition of Xodus Group
  • Edif Group acquired Persides Holdings Ltd


Bidvest Group Ltd, the South African based distribution services company, announced the acquisition of The Mansfield Group, a provider of full vehicle rescue and recovery services to customers including major motoring organisations, police forces, councils and government agencies. The company operates across the north of England and West Midlands.

TC Facilities Management Ltd, the Surrey-based independent provider of integrated facilities management services acquired London-based security business Equinox Security Management Ltd. The acquisition of Equinox will help propel TC Facilities Management closer to achieving its goal to “deliver integrated facilities management services brilliantly well, continually adapting and innovating to our customers’ changing needs”.

Babcock International Group plc acquired Conbras Engenharia Ltda, a privately owned Brazilian company, for a consideration of up to BRL 75 million (£22 million), including a maximum of BRL 15 million deferred consideration and earn out, subject to the achievement of financial performance targets. Conbras operates in the facilities management sector, serving private and public customers across Brazil.

Edif Group, a portfolio company of Phoenix Equity Partners, acquired Persides Holdings Ltd, a provider of engineering and management support services to the defence and energy sectors.

CropEnergies AG acquired the UK bioethanol producer Ensus Ltd, based in Yarm, England. The company operates one of the largest production plants for bioethanol in Europe, in the northeast of England with an annual capacity of 400,000 cubic metres of bioethanol and 350,000 tonnes of dried protein animal feed. The deal was valued at €13.5 million.

Interserve plc announced that it would acquire Topaz Oil and Gas Ltd, a UAE-based oil field construction company from Renaissance Services SAOG, for $46 million. The acquisition expands Interserve’s service offering in the UAE, a key growth market offering in excess of $5 billion of oil and gas contracts per annum, through a broad suite of Engineering, Procurement and Construction and maintenance services offered to national and international oil companies in Abu Dhabi and Fujairah.

John Wood Group plc acquired Pyeroy Group Ltd, a provider of specialist coatings, access and fabric maintenance services to the oil & gas, marine and rail industries. Pyreroy’s complementary range of services extends Wood Group PSN’s existing range of offshore brownfield engineering & construction, operations & maintenance and decommissioning services.

Oliver Wyman Ltd, part of Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc., signed a definitive agreement to acquire Corven, the London, UK-based financial advisory and management consulting services company.

EnServe Group Ltd announced that it is to sell Inenco Group Ltd, the Lytham St Annes, UK-based energy procurement and sustainability consulting services company to Vitruvian Partners LLP, management and Intermediate Capital Group plc for a reported £150 million.

Aker Solutions ASA acquired UK specialist engineering company International Design Engineering and Services Ltd (I.D.E.A.S) to boost its asset integrity management services.

Sagentia Group plc acquired OTM Consulting Ltd, the Guildford, UK-based technology management consultancy services in the oil, gas and alternative energy sectors company.

Vero Screening Ltd acquired Vet Your Staff Ltd, the Watton, UK-based pre-employment screening and background check services company.

Cobham plc acquired the remaining 50% stake that it did not already own in FB Heliservices Ltd and FBS Ltd, the Basingstoke, UK-based helicopter pilot training companies and FB Leasing Ltd, the Basingstoke, UK-based aircraft leasing company, from Bristow Helicopters Ltd, for £74 million (including debt of approximately £38 million.)

Serviced Office Group plc announced a deal to acquire Avanta Managed Offices Ltd, the London, UK-based managed office services provider, from Beadon Investments Ltd, for £15 million. The consideration comprises of £12.5 million in cash and £2.5 million in shares.

Grant Thornton UK LLP acquired Navigant Consulting Inc.’s UK financial services arm that focuses on retail financial services market with a particular focus on the challenger banks.

Intertek Group plc acquired Melbourn Scientific Ltd, the Royston, UK-based formulation development and analysis services to the pharmaceutical, biotech and healthcare industries.

Sharp Business Systems, a division of Sharp Electronics Corporation, acquired Copifax Ltd, the Burnley, UK-based office equipment wholesaler, as well as onsite and remote support services.

Chiyoda Corporation acquired an undisclosed majority stake in Xodus Group (Holdings) Ltd, an Aberdeen, United Kingdom-based International energy consultancy services company from Sunrise Xodus and Simmons Parallel Private.