On October 4, Aberdeen-based Abbot responded to press speculation by telling the stock exchange that it had received proposals that could lead to an offer for the company.
Abbot saw its share price soar after press reports said private equity house
Abbot itself is no stranger to deal making. In April 2006, the company acquired Songa, a Norwegian drilling company, for £247m.
3i has past experience in the oil services sector. In 2004, it invested in the US$925m buyout of Vetco Gray as part of a consortium, selling it to General Electric in 2006 for US$1.9bn. Prior to that, it invested in Petrofac, which floated in 2005.
But the fact that Abbot referred in its announcement to “proposals” could mean that 3i would face a battle to win the business.
Indeed, the news has been seized on as proof that M&A in the UK’s mid-market is alive and well for private equity and trade buyers, despite the troubles in the debt markets.
Along with speculation around an Abbot buyout, recent large mid-market deals have seen materials science group
Other recent oil and gas deals centred on the North Sea include