Offshore Deal

Swinburne Maddison LLP acts in offshore deal

19
Nov

Acting on behalf of the owners of Walker-based, FHP Ltd, partner Martyn Tennant recently advised the company in connection with the disposal of its entire issued share capital to Dutch-owned, Royal IHC.  

FHP, a family-owned business, which has been established for over 30 years, has grown into an international operation with more than 60 per cent of its products being exported.  In the recent past, the subsea and oil and gas markets have provided a rich source of business, necessitating investment in new skills, technologies and infrastructure.

IHC operates in the UK from Stocksfield Hall, Northumberland, designing, building and supplying specialist equipment for the offshore oil and gas, submarine telecoms, and renewables industries.  It has a worldwide network of support from its parent company Royal IHC, with over 3,000 employees based throughout the world.  

With a role which comprised advancing due diligence, disclosure and negotiating transaction documentation as well as commercial and real estate support, we worked closely with FHP’s accountants, RHK Chartered Accountants and Business Advisers.

Ranking as one of the larger deals we have transacted this year, we completed the legal process within the desired time frame.  Martyn Tennant, partner, who recently received industry recognition as ‘Young Lawyer of the Year’ and ‘Corporate Lawyer of the Year’ said: 

“The deal has presented a few challenges – particularly given the jurisdictional differences between the parties and both parties have worked hard to achieve completion. There is a very good fit between the two companies and the acquisition will enable the region to strengthen its position within the global supply chain.  Royal IHC will use FHP as a platform to develop its rental operation This will mean that FHP employees can look forward to becoming part of a larger team with an international status that will provide some great opportunities for further growth.”

FHP operates from a new, custom-built 28,000 sq ft unit on Neptune Energy Park in Walker and employs around 40 members of staff.  The firm is self-sufficient in all areas from design concept through to installation and commissioning.  FHP will continue to operate as normal within the subsea oil and gas markets with an emphasis on developing and expanding the company’s equipment hire business.  

Peter Fraser, previous owner of FHP, said:  “It is a great deal for the future of the business and it will ensure great opportunities for the company’s employees as they carve a place for themselves within a larger operation.  Their skills, backed by the global reach of IHC, should make FHP a powerful player in the global market.”

David Hall, RHK’s senior partner, said: 

“We have acted for FHP for a number of years and watched the company grow and develop from a start up company to its stature today.  IHC’s business strategy is to expand through acquisition, so FHP’s geographic proximity was very attractive because employees share a similar outlook and culture. Customers and suppliers will also benefit with the extended range of support, innovation and technology offered by a larger group.  We wish them all success for the future.”

Bram Roelse CEO of Royal IHC: “The acquisition of FHP fits perfectly within IHC’s strategy to reduce IHC’s dependence on the volatile shipbuilding industry by developing OPEX activities. The new FHP facility offers an ideal opportunity for IHC to strengthen its position in the offshore market, centralise and further expand the offering of rental equipment, and provide a broader service offering to our customers.”

Legal support for IHC was provided by its in-house team.

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