Moffat 2000: Northumberland subsea specialist in global tie-up

The North East's engineering capabilities prove as world class as ever after it was announced a Northumberland subsea specialist has been bought by a New York Stock Exchange-listed group to help fuel its global growth

Ashington-based Moffat 2000, which designs and fabricates pipeline products for the global petrochem, process, offshore and subsea markets, has been bought up by Forum Energy Technologies, based in Houston, Texas.

Moffat’s, which already exports 80% of products made at its base in Ashington to clients including Shell, Esso and BP, will still be led by managing director John Thompson and says the deal will help it tap into an even wider range of global projects.

The deal was struck to allow Forum to introduce Moffat’s intellectual property and engineering capabilities into its vast portfolio and, at the same time, allow Jubilee Industrial Estate-based Moffat to tap into Forum’s global network of clients.

Jon Hurford, associate director in KPMG’s Newcastle corporate finance team, led the sale process.

He said: “In successfully completing this transaction and joining the Forum Group Moffat 2000 enters an exciting phase in its development.

“This deal is a great example of the M&A (mergers and acquisitions) trend in the oil and gas sector whereby high quality businesses supplying international projects are becoming increasingly attractive to larger global players, often in order to provide security in supply chain capability and capacity.

“The North East is a hotbed of niche capability across many of the engineering and wider subsectors that form the oil and gas supply chain, and we are pleased to have helped Moffat and its workforce on their journey.”

This is the second North East company to be bought up and taken under Forum’s international wings.

In 2007, the US business bought R B Pipetech on Northumberland Business Park in Cramlington, which remains in the group as a ‘legacy company’.

Moffat’s products are key components in subsea pipeline infrastructure projects and are sold to first tier subsea construction companies. It employs around 50 staff, all of whom will remain employed, and is a leading manufacturer of pipeline inspection gauge launching and receiving systems and subsea connectors.

Moffat managing director John Thompson said: “We believe the acquisition by Forum will facilitate our growth plans globally.”

Bond Dickinson corporate partner Sean Nicolson, who advised the Moffat shareholders on the deal, said: “We have worked with the company since it was formed in 2001 and have enjoyed watching it go from strength to strength since then. I am sure Moffat will continue to prosper as part of the Forum group.”

Journalists

David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer