French Energy Firm Acquires Subocean

Lucas Gilmore, “Big 4″ observer
January 31, 2011 /

PricewaterhouseCoopers administrators of the Aberdeen-based renewable energy firm Subocean have tapped Technip, a French energy services company that saved 300 jobs at Subocean through a £10 million acquisition deal.

Subocean Group was placed into administration January 21 after debt restructuring efforts exerted by the company have failed. Subocean has been in tight rope dealing with its troubled cash flow.

Bruce Cartwright, joint administrator and head of business recovery services for PricewaterhouseCoopers in Scotland, said during the duration of Subocean’s sale the efforts of directors to find a “solvent solution” to save the ailing firm, including its employees and creditors, brought them to nowhere but administration.

He said Subocean was operating “in what is still an emerging and immature market.”

Executives of the ailing firm said early this month they had worked to refinance Subocean’s debts, and that the only option they thought they were left with to save the business was to sell the company. Subocean’s legal counsels then filed a petition before the Court of Session in Edinburgh to call in Pwc administrators.

But Subocean found hope when serious buyers had expressed interest in buying the business as they recognize the potential of the market in which Subocean is situated in.

“Over the last ten days, there has been an intensive amount of activity as we worked with the directors to explore the options open to them and find a long term solution,” Cartwright said.

“We are very pleased to have been able to capitalize upon the high potential renewables market and look forward to welcoming Subocean into the Technip Group,” said Ron Cookson, managing director of Technip UK.

On the other hand, PwC administrators did not fully disclose details of the acquisition regarding the total amount that Subocean creditors can recover as a result of the deal.

Cartwright said the deal that they had closed “not only preserves the business and the employment of the majority of the workforce but will also allow it to develop to a new level.”

“As such,” he added, acquisition of Subocean by Technip “is a critical step in the ongoing development of the renewables industry in Scotland.”

 

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