Weir spends £430m on US shale gas firm

City A.M. Reporter
WEIR, the Scottish pumps and valves maker, has agreed to buy US manufacturer Seaboard Holdings for $675m (£430m) in a deal that will boost its presence in the booming shale oil and gas industry in North America.

Weir said yesterday that it expected the acquisition of Houston-based Seaboard to be immediately earnings accretive and added that Seaboard’s equipment would broaden its offering in the shale drilling market.

Known as “fracking”, the production of unconventional oil and gas by extracting hydrocarbons from shale and sands, has experienced huge growth in North America in recent years, benefiting firms like Weir and Seaboard, whose technology is used in the process.

“The acquisition of Seaboard is consistent with Weir’s strategy of extending its upstream market presence in aligned markets with positive fundamentals,” Weir said in a statement, adding that it would pay for the deal from new and existing bank facilities.

Weir’s heavy-duty pumps are used to force sand and chemicals into the ground to push out hydrocarbons while Seaboard’s equipment is used to control pressure in the wells.

Completion of the deal is subject to US regulatory clearance and subject to achieving that is expected to close in December, said Weir.

Shares in Weir closed down 1.26 per cent at 1,719p.