Interserve to buy Middle-Eastern unit of Willbros

Support services and construction group Interserve is to expand its operational footprint in the oil and gas services market with the acquisition of a majority stake in Willbros Middle East.

Support services and construction group Interserve is to expand its operational footprint in the oil and gas services market with the acquisition of a majority stake in Willbros Middle East.

Interserve is spend $41.3m on an 85% interest in Willbros Middle East and its subsidiaries, which provides oil field maintenance, construction and logistics services. The group highlighted the foremost division, The Oman Construction Company (TOCO).

The other 15% of the company will be owned by Interserve's Omani partner.

Willbros Middle East is to be bought from Willbros International Finance and Equipment, part of the US-listed oil and gas services giant Willbros Group Inc.

The group said that the acquisition expands its service offering in Oman, "a key growth market offering c. US$2.5bn of oil, gas and power contracts per annum".

The gross assets of the subsidiaries being acquired are $31m, including cash of around $4m. Pre-tax profits for Willbros Middle East and its subsidiaries totalled $6m in the 10 months to the end of October 2012.

"Interserve sees the Middle East oil and gas sector as a key growth market and this acquisition further develops our presence in the region," said Chief Executive Officer Adrian Ringrose.

"As part of Interserve, we believe TOCO's growth will be accelerated through innovation, enhanced business development and a number of operational efficiencies."

Interserve shares gained 0.87% to 395.4p in early trading on Monday.

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