Aberdeen firm sold in £6m deal

Graham Cunning
Graham Cunning

An Aberdeen-based supplier of hoses to the offshore oil and gas industry has been sold to a Swedish industrial firm in a deal worth up to £6 million.

Bridge-of-Don-based First Hose has been sold by majority owners Fred and Donna Nicol to GS-Hydro, a Finland-based firm which is owned by Swedish listed private equity conglomerate, Ratos.

The firm. which employs 32 people, was established in 1989 and provides its customers with offshore rig supply hoses, hydraulic hoses, instrumentation, adapters and fittings.

Ratos said it would make an upfront payment for £4.5 million with a “maximum additional purchase price” of £1.5 million.

Graham Cunning, corporate finance partner with accountants Campbell Dallas and adviser to the shareholders, said that despite the oil price crash last year, the deal showed there was still an active market for quality businesses.

He said: “While the downturn has been painful for many, it has also brought opportunity for growth-oriented businesses to position themselves for the upturn.

“The acquisition of First Hose by GS-Hydro is a perfect example of a great business being bought by a global company with a clear growth strategy.

“This is a good time to sell a quality business, and also for strategic buyers to execute their M&A growth plans, in preparation for the next stage of the economic cycle.”

Managing director Mr Nicol, who plans to stay with the business, said: “My wife, Donna, and I are hugely proud of the growth that we have achieved at First Hose, taking the business from start-up to where it is today.

“That’s in no small part due to the commitment of our employees and the support of our customers and suppliers.

“Being part of GS-Hydro will allow First Hose to accelerate our growth plans together.”

Chris Hargreaves, managing director of GS-Hydro UK, added: “This acquisition is an important step in delivering GS-Hydro strategy.

“We are delighted to have acquired First Hose, which will significantly strengthen GS-Hydro’s position in the offshore aftersales market in the UK.”

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