German engineering company Siemens has announced it will buy a British firm specializing in components for underwater power cables. It's a strategic move to strengthen its role in the offshore oil and gas business.
Engineering giant Siemens of Germany on Tuesday announced its plan to take over the subsea division of the British company, Expro Holding. The Reading-based unit specializes in connectors and measuring equipment related to the use and development of underwater power cables.
Siemens said in a statement it would buy the division for 470 million euros ($600 million). However, the transaction is still subject to approval by anti-trust authorities.
The German engineering company has been aiming for years to gain a stronger market position as a supplier to the offshore oil and gas exploration industry.
"The sensors, measuring equipment and connectors from Expro are key components for subsea power grids and are needed for Siemens' underwater operations up to a depth of 3,000 meters," the company statement said.
Big business on the horizon
Siemens maintained that subsea explorations and applications accounted for the most rapidly expanding segment in the oil and gas industry.
"By taking over Expro's Subsea Division, we're getting closer to our objective of being among the world's leading suppliers for underwater power grid technology," said the CEO of Siemens' Oil & Gas Division, Adil Toubia, on Tuesday.
Expro's connectors and measurements unit posted revenues of 90 million euros in 2011. It employs 450 people in Britain, Norway, the United States of America and Malaysia.
Siemens' planned move is the latest in a series of recent attempts to become a bigger player in underwater exploration. A year ago, the company took over two specialized Norwegian companies, Bennex and Poseidon.
Siemens also opened a technology and test center in Trondheim, Norway. Over the next couple of years, the Munich-based firm wants to open its own subsea business outlets in Houston, Rio de Janeiro and Singapore.
hg / mll (Reuters, dpa)