AMP, 3i to acquire offshore services business

The Australian fund manager and its UK counterpart will own an equal share in Danish-based ESVAGT as the former forges on with raising its Global Infrastructure Fund.

Sydney-based AMP Capital (AMP) and London-listed 3i Infrastructure have agreed to jointly buy ESVAGT, a Nordic-focused provider of emergency response and rescue services to the offshore oil and gas industry.

The business is being sold by Danish shipping group Maersk and a group of minority investors for DKK4.1 billion (€549 million; $603 million), with both fund managers investing about £109 million (€154 million; $168 million) for a 50 percent stake.

The transaction is part of a divestment drive by Maersk, which currently owns 75 percent of ESVAGT. The group has sold about $11 billion of assets since 2009, in an effort to focus on container shipping, port operations, oil exploration and drilling.

Headquartered in Esbjerg, south-west Denmark, ESVAGT provides offshore safety and support at sea primarily in and around the North Sea and the Barents Sea. In operation since 1981, it employs more than 800 staff and owns a fleet of 43 vessels.

With a strong presence in Denmark and Norway, the company now aims to grow its foothold in both the UK and offshore wind services segment.

“ESVAGT holds leading positions in its core Scandinavian markets where there are high barriers to entry,” said Boe Pahari, AMP’s global head of infrastructure, in a statement. “Its contracted revenue streams, unique operating model and market-leading margins mean it is expected to continue to deliver stable and predictable revenue. The company is also well positioned to replicate its success in overseas markets.”

AMP will be investing in the business via its Global Infrastructure Fund, which it is currently raising with a target of $2 billion. The vehicle reached a first close last march, having secured more than $540 million in fresh commitments on top of a $750 million seed portfolio. 

The ESVAGT transaction, which remains subject to approval by the European Commission, is expected to close by the end of September.