KKR-backed Acteon and Fugro explored tie-up options – sources

24 August 2020 - 08:00 am UTC

Dutch geo-intelligence and asset integrity specialist Fugro [AMS:FUR] and KKR-backed subsea surface and equipment player Acteon have engaged in tie-up discussions, two sources familiar with the matter said.


KKR, which has tapped RBC as its adviser, is seeking a liquid platform from which to realise its investment in UK-based Acteon, while Fugro’s stressed balance sheet requires a capital injection, the sources said.


There are no merger talks ongoing, a Fugro spokesperson said. The company is always in discussions with all sorts of parties, many of which approach Fugro, so it cannot confirm whether such discussions have occurred, the spokesperson said.


Fugro is working on a refinancing, the spokesperson said, so many parties with ideas approach it but it shall follow its own path.


Acteon and Fugro are peers, except for Fugro’s seismic offering, so a tie-up without this would make sense, a third source said. Fugro is selling its Seabed Geosolution business via Clarkson Platou Securities, this source added. In December, Fugro acquired the 40% stake in this division that it did not own for USD 35m from CGG [EPA:CGG], and noted the business is non-core held for sale.


The Fugro spokesperson confirmed the Clarkson Platou Securities mandate.


Even though large parts of Fugro and Acteon overlap, it may be difficult to execute such a complicated private-public transaction, one of the sources said.


The subsea work on which both companies engage can be pivoted from a pure-play focus on oil and gas to offshore wind, the second source added. 


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by Patrick Harris in London