Kentz leaps on $435m acquisition

Kentz leaps on $435m acquisition

Shares in oil engineer Kentz jumped as much as 10pc after the former bid target revealed it was spending $ 435m (£265.5m) on a US-based oil and gas services business in a deal that boosts the British company’s exposure to America.

Kentz, which was approached by both FTSE 100 company Amec and Germany’s M+W Group earlier this year, is buying Valerus Field Services in a cash. Christian Brown, Kentz’s chief executive, said today that the acquisition would give the FTSE 250 company “a significant presence in the growing US market”.

Both Amec and M+W abandoned their approaches for Kentz in September after the mid-capper rebuffed its two suitors. However, there has been speculation recently that the German company may renew its interest in Kentz, rumours that lifted the company’s shares.

The purchase of Valerus should boost the group’s presence in Latin America, particularly Brazil, Mexico, Colombia and Venezuela, Kentz said today. It would also see 665 employees added to Kentz’s workforce.

The Tipperary-based company started as an Irish electrical contractor in 1919 but has grown to a global group employing 14,500 in 30 countries in engineering, oil and gas and construction operations.

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