Scottish Loan Fund backs energy service companies for international expansion

Scottish Loan FundThe Scottish Loan Fund (SLF), managed by Glasgow-based Maven Capital Partners , has completed a £5 million investment in the energy service specialists Meta Downhole and READ Cased Hole, to support the international growth ambitions of both businesses.

Aberdeen-based READ and Meta are trading companies of READ Well Services Holdings, operating as separate entities since 2011 to enable a greater focus on specific growth strategies suited to the distinctive product lines and technology being developed by the two businesses.

READ, specialist provider of integrity and production evaluation services used during well construction, production and intervention operations, also has offices in Norway, Australia and Qatar and will use the funding provided by the SLF to support its geographic sales growth into new targeted areas such as the Middle East and Asia Pacific regions, where they already have existing clients.

Sister business, Meta, is a provider of metal-to-metal integrity solutions for a range of well applications ranging from land wells through to ultra deepwater structures. It will utilise the SLF funding to further its international expansion into existing and new markets, where there is growing demand for its unique, patented technology that provides customers with certified gas-tight barrier solutions that span the life of a well through to decommissioning, even in deepwater environments, and a range of cladding products that extend the life of wells in production.

At its state-of-the-art testing facility in Aberdeen, Meta is able to test and qualify products to replicate extreme high pressure and high temperature well environments, with operations also supported by offices in Houston, Dubai and Kuala Lumpur.

Chris Cooper, investment manager at Maven, said: “We are delighted to be able to support the management teams at Meta and READ as they continue to grow their businesses internationally. Funding from SLF is ideally suited to providing both businesses with the flexibility and financial backing that is vital in the current environment, and will allow the management to make important strategic decisions. SLF continues to be a supporter of the oil and gas services sector, investing in dynamic businesses that are focussed on growth and have a robust business plan with a significant global dimension.”

Greg Herrera, Partner at Energy Ventures - owners of READ Well Services Holdings, said: “We are delighted to have the Scottish Loan Fund involved as a partner and look forward to the continued development of both READ Cased Hole and Meta.”

Scottish Enterprise works intensively with both companies, through its account management portfolio service, supporting them in areas such as leadership development, international market research and innovation.

Welcoming this significant investment in the oil and gas sector, Michelle Kinnaird, investment director of Scottish Enterprise’s investment arm The Scottish Investment Bank, added: “Today’s news reflects the determination of the supply chain during these challenging times. Like many oil and gas companies, Meta and READ recognise the important role international activity can play in their long term ambition and we are delighted we can help, through the Scottish Loan Fund, to support their growth in this area.“

Financial due diligence was conducted by Johnston Carmichael, commercial due diligence by Calash, legals by Blackwood Partners, and insurance by Lockton.

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