Scots-based ISS forecasts growth as it buys Australian operation

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Aberdeen — A UK-based diving support business with a turnover of more than £100 million is forecasting “significant” growth in south-east Asia after acquiring an Australian business and opening an office in Singapore.

Integrated Subsea Services (ISS), which employs about 650 people worldwide, said it had taken over the remotely operated vehicle (ROV) operations of Perth-based Submec for an undisclosed sum.

All 55 offshore and onshore personnel associated with the £4m business will transfer to ISS.

To further the Scottish company’s expansion into south-east Asia’s fast-growing subsea oil and gas market, ISS has also opened an office in Singapore.

It has appointed Allan Nairn as area manager, Eliot Ward as business development manager and George Lambert as diving operations manager.

Ian Herd, ISS co-founder and managing director, said: “On the back of client demand, we have been investigating the potential in south-east Asia for some time and are pleased to have appointed high calibre people with proven experience in this market to drive forward our operations in the region.

“Submec was keen to refocus on tooling services and this presented us with a golden opportunity to acquire its ROV services business which is one of our main focus areas and where we are now a market leader.”

About 80 per cent of ISS’s business is derived from its North Sea activities, but Herd said overseas business was expected to account for 40 per cent of group turnover in the next three years.

He added: “There is a real need for an independent provider of subsea services in south-east Asia and we anticipate deriving significant growth by filling this gap.”

A report yesterday revealed that offshore oil and gas activity in mature areas such as the North Sea is more at risk than deepwater areas like West Africa amid the current economic downturn.

The Subsea UK study paints a picture of continued uncertainty in the oil and gas sector through 2009 and 2010.

business.scotsman.com

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