EnerMech Ltd has stepped up its presence in the African oil and gas sector with the £3 million (43 million Rand) acquisition of heavy load testing company Water Weights International SA (Pty) Ltd.
The mechanical engineering group will use Water Weights International’s (WWI) strategic relationships to accelerate growth of its main business lines in South Africa and in key East and West African countries.
EnerMech will invest up to £20 million (284 million Rand) in its African operations over the next three years and expects its workforce to grow to 250 in the same period.
Cape Town-based WWI specialises in the proof load testing of cranes, lifting equipment and structures, and serves the marine, shipping, engineering, industrial and offshore sectors. Its water-filled proof load bags are viewed as a more economical and safer method of load testing than traditional solid weight forms of testing.
The deal is not connected to UK based Water Weights Ltd, which was formed in Aberdeen in 1979, and for whom WWI has acted as representatives in Cape Province for almost 30 years.
The new entity will be known as EnerMech Water Weights SA (Pty) Ltd and WWI managing director Neil Scheibe, will remain in post, ensuring continuity of business relationships and service. Twenty five staff will transfer to the new company which will relocate to larger premises near to Cape Town’s main container terminal in Paarden Eiland.
EnerMech managing director, Doug Duguid, said the deal was a perfect fit with the company’s existing cranes and lifting division, and would provide a platform for swift expansion across the African continent.
The Aberdeen-headquartered group already has a base in Ghana and has completed or is currently engaged in projects in South Africa, Nigeria, Angola, Gabon, Democratic Republic of Congo and Equatorial Guinea. Expansion will follow in Namibia, Mozambique, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.
Mr Duguid said: “We have been looking for some time for a suitable partner in Africa and Water Weights International fits the bill perfectly. Not only do its superb products strongly align with our own, but it has excellent relationships with key players across a number of African countries which will benefit the new business.
“In light of the large number of significant oil and gas discoveries in West and East Africa, we believe there will be many opportunities to introduce and establish our business lines, including cranes and lifting, valves, hydraulics, process, pipeline and umbilicals, equipment rental and training services.
“Using Cape Town as a hub, we will invest up to £20 million (284 million Rand) over the next three years to firmly establish EnerMech’s six main business lines and to strengthen Water Weights International’s services and products in West and East Africa. We believe this will add £50 million (710.6 million Rand) to our global revenue and expect our workforce in Africa to grow to 250 by 2015.
“Our policy is to establish a strong infrastructure in each geographic location we operate in and we already have committed £5 million (71.6 million Rand) worth of new equipment which will soon be shipped to Cape Town. Existing clients who are moving in to Africa can expect the same level of service and rapid response we offer in other oil and gas producing regions.”
Neil Scheibe said: “The deal represents a great opportunity for Water Weights International to grow our business and the excellent fit with EnerMech will create a wealth of opportunities for our staff.”