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Imes Group Makes Way for Further Growth with Sale of Division

01 May 2009

Aberdeen-headquartered Imes Group has announced the sale of one of its companies, Imes Strategic Support Limited (ISSL), to Lockheed Martin UK Limited (LMUK), a subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corporation. Terms of the transaction are not being disclosed.

Imes Group, which employs over 200 people, delivers highly technical engineering solutions to sectors that depend for their performance on the integrity of critical assets – defence, aerospace, oil and gas and nuclear. Recently, the group successfully transferred its oil and gas expertise to the defence sector, it formed ISSL to focus on delivering services to the UK Trident programme.

The £20+ million turnover group will continue to focus on growing its business in asset integrity solutions to the oil and gas, marine and nuclear industries through Imes Ltd. in the UK and Imes Inc. in the US. With increasing demand in the North Sea and other oil and gas provinces around the world for its unique services, Imes Group anticipates strong growth with growth plans to create jobs across the remaining operating companies in the next 12 months.

All 87 employees of ISSL will become part of Lockheed Martin. ISSL is a trusted supplier to the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD), with operations and programmes in a number of critical areas. Lockheed Martin has a long history of involvement with the strategic weapons programme in both the US and UK. The combination of ISSL with LMUK is expected to benefit employees and the MOD. Imes Group chairman, Melfort Campbell, will be contracted part-time by LMUK to support the transition and to assist with the promotion of the full value of Lockheed Martin's role on the Strategic Weapons Systems programme.

Commenting on the transaction, Mr Campbell said: “As a specialist niche company operating in the highly critical defence sector, ISSL has established a reputation for quality and reliable delivery of integrity solutions. LMUK respect what we have achieved and will provide ISSL with the resources and capability to further exploit the significant potential of the business and its people.

“The deal is good news for Imes Group as a whole in that it allows us to focus on growing the integrity management business globally which includes the provision of specialist engineering, inspection, monitoring and technical services around the world. Our continued links with ISSL and Lockheed Martin will open up opportunities for the sister companies in both the UK and the US.”

Imes Group was initially formed by Melfort Campbell in 1984 as Water Weights Limited which focused on its proprietary product of bags that, when filled with water, are used to load test cranes in an offshore environment. The company grew and diversified into other areas including inspection and testing of lifting equipment and the provision of technical and engineering expertise in support of critical plant and equipment.

Imes Group's advisers in the transaction were McGrigors (legal), Ritson Smith (corporate finance) and Johnston Carmichael (tax).