7th September 2020

Aberdeen engineering firm J&S Subsea acquired by management

Aberdeen subsea engineering firm J&S Subsea has been acquired by its management in a deal that signals confidence in the long term prospects for the North Sea. Dow Schofield Watts Corporate Finance advised the buyout team.

A team led by Matt Blair acquired the J&S Subsea operation from the Cohort defence technology business, for an undisclosed sum.

J&S supplies and maintains control systems and related equipment used by oil and gas firms in the North Sea. Clients include Total and CNR.

The management buyout has been completed amid challenging times in the North Sea oil services market.
Some firms that operate oil and gas facilities are slashing spending in response to the plunge in commodity prices triggered by the coronavirus.

However, J&S expects subsea activity to increase amid the transition to a lower-carbon energy system. A range of big offshore windfarm developments are in the pipeline.

J&S supports European Marine Energy Centre facilities off Orkney.

Mr Blair noted: “As businesses engage further in the energy transition, the number of subsea campaigns in the North Sea are on the rise.” 

He said the experience J&S has gained could help it achieve growth in the UK market and overseas.

The company said it expects to increase its engineering and employee numbers in coming months. All 17 of the operation’s employees remained with J&S following the buyout.

The firm plans to move to a new base in the Aberdeen area that will give it room for expansion.

Tom Faichnie of Dow Schofield Watts advised the buyout team. He said: “The subsea division is a successful and profitable business whose skills in helping clients to extend asset life will be very much in demand in the years ahead.

“The transaction gives the experienced management team autonomy of the business to take it forward to the next stage of its growth.”

J&S Subsea
J&S Subsea’s executive chairman Matt Blair, engineering director James Morris and business development director, Simon Smith