Energy and marine consultancy group ABL Group ASA has entered into an agreement with a subsidiary of Akastor ASA to acquire 100 percent of the shares in multi-disciplinary engineering, consultancy and software company AGR. The purpose is to bolster ABL Group’s offering within well and reservoir consultancy, enhance the group’s position supporting operators’ digitalisation and decarbonisation plans, and expand its opex-driven offshore energy exposure.
In addition to its oil and gas industry legacy, AGR’s specialist competence and software are also applied to decommissioning of offshore assets, carbon capture use and storage (CCUS), blue hydrogen, geothermal energy and seabed minerals.
“This consolidation gives ABL Group a strong position in well and reservoir consultancy, further enhances our position within digitalisation and energy transition solutions, and expands our services with a resourcing offering that is already well established in the oil and gas sector and positioned for growth within offshore wind,” says Reuben Segal, CEO of ABL Group.
CONSOLIDATING WELL AND RESERVOIR CONSULTANCY
Part of ABL Group’s business strategy is to consolidate key services and leverage its global network of offices to drive growth.
Last year, ABL Group acquired Add Energy to enhance the group’s services in the opex phase of offshore energy, including asset integrity management, well and reservoir management, and associated software products.
The acquisition of AGR, which has high brownfield exposure, builds therefore on the previous purchase of Add Energy.
AGR will bring scale to ABL Group’s well and reservoir consultancy, and increases the group’s exposure to the opex-driven phases of offshore energy. AGR’s fully commercialised software division strengthens the group’s suite of software products and digitalisation capabilities, and adds competence and scale to support energy transition technologies and projects.
This transaction also significantly strengthens ABL’s offerings for CCUS projects at a time when investment in decarbonising the hydrocarbon sector is increasing rapidly.
In addition, it enables ABL Group to offer resourcing solutions across oil and gas and renewables at a time when talent scarcity is putting projects and deployments at risk.
“Although Add Energy and AGR operate in the same industry space, there is currently limited overlap between the two companies. Our objective is to utilise our global office and client network to bridge the two businesses. By combining their competence and products, we will be able to offer offshore energy clients an even more comprehensive, integrated service offering. This should create value for both operators and ABL Group,” adds Reuben Segal.
Following completion of the transaction, Add Energy will become part of AGR, which will continue as a stand-alone business within ABL Group.
AGR is a leading multidisciplinary engineering, consultancy and software company. The company is the result of a merger in 2019 between AGR and First Geo (formerly Aker Geo).
Today, AGR delivers its services through five business lines: consultancy, which delivers energy consultancy services (high-end resource solutions) and personnel in Norway, UK and Australia; well management, with strong footprint in the Asia Pacific region; wellsite and operations geology, which operates primarily in Norway; reservoir management and asset evaluation, operating in Norway; and software products to support the offshore energy industries globally.
The company is headquartered in Oslo, Norway, with additional offices in Stavanger, Bergen and Tromsø in Norway; Perth, Western Australia; and Aberdeen, UK. AGR consists of 377 resources, of which 196 are AGR employees, and 181 are associates/independent consultants.
In 2022, AGR delivered revenue of NOK 790 million and EBITDA of NOK 60 million. AGR has delivered a compound annual growth rate of 15 percent and stable profitable growth since 2020. The company has a highly scalable business model, with low fixed cost base, which allows it to rapidly adapt to both client and market demands.
AGR is currently a wholly-owned subsidiary of Oslo-listed Akastor ASA, which has the Aker group as its biggest shareholder.
“AGR is first and foremost a consultancy business. Akastor has been a great owner for us, but I believe everyone sees the industrial benefits of integrating AGR into a fully-fledged energy consultancy environment such as ABL Group. AGR has a strong position within oil and gas but has during the past couple of years increasingly been asked by clients to support their energy transition projects. Tapping into ABL Group’s huge global competence and resource pool will allow us to provide our customers with an even more comprehensive product and service offering. We will at the same time significantly strengthen ABL Group’s well management offering. It is a business combination that makes sense for all parties involved,” says Svein Sollund, CEO of AGR.
ABL Group has entered into an agreement to acquire 100 percent of the shares in AGR AS, which is valued at NOK 262.5 million in the transaction. The purchase price will be settled in shares in ABL Group ASA.
Closing of the acquisition is expected on or around 18 April 2023. The transaction is subject to approval of the equity issue by an extraordinary general meeting in ABL Group to be held on or about 11 April 2023.