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Wilton Group Continues with Expansion Plans

11 June 2010

The Wilton Group are very pleased to announce that it has agreed a significant investment deal with Barclays Private Equity (BPE) which will underpin Wilton's recent impressive growth and help the group deliver the next phase of its strategic business plan.

Barclays Private Equity (BPE), one of Europe's leading mid-market private equity firms, has taken a significant minority stake in the Wilton Group – a leading full-service provider of project management, design, fabrication, installation and testing services for the energy sector – through a management buyout of the business.

The deal, which sees BPE invest £16 million in the company in an equity-only transaction, adds to BPE's existing specialist engineering portfolio.

Wilton comprises three main business units – PD&MS Energy, Wilton Engineering Services and Universal Coatings & Support Services – allowing it to offer fully integrated turnkey packages across a range of onshore and offshore engineering sectors.

Based in Aberdeen & Teesside and with 2 new offices due to be opened in Brazil, PD&MS Energy provides engineering design and technical support for the maintenance and modification & upgrades of oil and gas assets, drilling & production, fixed or floating structures, currently predominantly in the North Sea.

Load out of the Giant Saipem J Lay Tower Fabricated and Constructed by Wilton Group Middlesbrough.

Wilton Engineering Services, which is located on a 50-acre quayside facility in Middlesbrough, can offer concept to completion and focuses on large, technically demanding fabrications and associated services for the subsea, marine, offshore, nuclear and renewable energy industries.

Universal Coatings (& Support Services), which is also based in Middlesbrough, provides high-quality surface preparation, coating and painting services to the offshore, sub-sea and power industries.

John Walker, director at Barclays Private Equity (in Manchester), said:

“Over recent years, Wilton has grown both organically and via acquisition to become one of the UK's leading providers of project management, design and fabrication to the dynamic energy sector.

“The Group has considerable potential for organic growth, particularly through its PD&MS business unit, which has consistently exceeded growth targets. Furthermore, the lack of bank debt as part of this transaction enables the business to make strategic acquisitions to further improve both service offering and market position.

“Taking into account its focus on the maintenance and refurbishment of offshore rigs and platforms in the North Sea, plus the fabrication of offshore structures Wilton Group operates in a marketplace of strategic importance to the UK government in terms of energy supply. Furthermore, measures outlined in the Queen's Speech are likely to extend North Sea oil and gas exploration to help meet growing energy demands. If introduced, this would create further growth opportunities for Wilton.”

Bill Scott, CEO of Wilton Group, commented:

“BPE's investment provides us with a strong platform to further build on our established customer base and our broad offering of services. We have also, in the past few months, strengthened our Senior Management team in anticipation of this investment and the next stage of the development of the Group is to further raise our profile, penetrate the UK sector whilst also including a greater focus on expanding into a number of overseas markets, including Brazil and the Asia Pacific”