Dundee-based oil and gas safety group Starn is targeting growth after acquiring a group of companies in Australia and Asia.
Starn, which owns the Safehouse Habitats and Sabre Safety Services businesses headquartered at Claverhouse Industrial Park, has added the Esprat Group to its roster for an undisclosed sum.
The deal strengthens Starn’s footprint and range of services it can offer in both territories.
Starn’s chief financial officer Rick Clark said: “We already operate in Australia and Asia but this acquisition really strengthens our base in both places.
“The Esprat group of companies is complementary — it will extend the range of services we can offer and strengthens the management and people in the business.
“In Australia in particular we are seeing our business growing strongly.
“The Esprat deal will help us deliver against the challenges being put to us by customers.”
Starn has secured work on Shell’s Prelude and Inpex’s Ichthys projects and hopes to be better positioned to secure more work.
“Having a greater infrastructure through buying Esprat is really going to help us make sure that we can deliver against the needs of these customers and give us opportunities with some of the larger projects in Australia,” Mr Clark added.
He said the move would have short-term benefits to Starn’s Dundee companies though longer term it may look to add to its supply chain in Australia or Asia.
“This will bring opportunities for people in Dundee and the rest of the UK,” he continued.
“The strategy is to make sure we have a sustainable international footprint which will help us extend and grow in this country as well.
“Longer term, as we get bigger in Asia or Australia, it may make sense for us to deliver the supply chain locally.
“But at the outset there will be quite a lot of benefit for Dundee to do with our supply base as we get kit manufactured here and shipped out.
“To be clear, there isn’t any longer term strategy to migrate from Dundee.”
Starn posted a pre-tax loss of £8 million in 2017 and £23m in 2016 but Mr Clark said there were signs of a better trading environment.
He said: “The prospects are really positive and everyone in the company is upbeat at the moment which is good as it’s been a tough few years.”