Based in Newcastle upon Tyne, SMD manufactures remotely controlled subsea vehicles, primarily used in the oil and gas, submarine telecoms and oceanographic research sectors. The company’s vehicles range from work class remotely operated vehicles (WROVs) to specialised trenchers and mining machines. SMD employs 135 staff.
Inflexion said that SMD holds a strong position in the WROV market, where annual capex spend is expected to increase by more than 50% over the next three years as developers are forced to explore deeper waters and increasingly harsh conditions to satisfy sustained demand for oil and gas.
In March, Inflexion bought waste water support services business
Inflexion’s previous forays into the oil and gas sector comprise the £22m management buyout in January 2006 of Viking Moorings, which provides moorings solutions to offshore oil and gas drilling rigs; and PG Holdings, a now realised oil pump manufacturer acquired in 1999.
London and Manchester-based Inflexion is currently investing from a £165m fund, raised in 2006.