Spring 2013

James Fisher acquires Divex

James Fisher and Sons plc has strengthened its global presence in the marine engineering industry through the purchase of Divex Ltd, a leading supplier of diving equipment to the offshore oil industry and related sectors.

Based in Aberdeen, Divex Limited (now part of JFD) has a thirty-year history of enabling accident-free diving through its design, assembly and distribution of a wide range of diving products for commercial and military application. Among its most notable achievements has been the provision of rebreathing equipment to enable the defusing of munitions from the Second World War, and its assistance in the recovery of mustard gas bombs from Japanese lakes. Divex products range from diving helmets and breathing apparatus to large saturation diving systems and decompression chambers for multi-occupancy. 

The present Divex company dates from 1998, though its origins can be traced back to the foundation in 1981 of Gas Services Offshore Ltd, which promoted a new technology for diving recovery projects. The company has since grown organically and through more than a dozen acquisitions, and now employs approximately 240 people at its Aberdeen headquarters and at other sites in Perth and Sydney, Australia; Cape Town, South Africa and Dubai. Divex recorded a turnover of £32.4m in the year ended 30 November 2012, and showed a net profit of £4.6 m.

Further significant growth in prospect

Divex is on the cusp of a further significant period of growth thanks to the opportunities presented by the global replacement of ageing diving support vessels, and the support that will come with being part of the James Fisher Group promises to be crucial to maximizing this potential.

Divex joint managing director Derek Clarke explains:

 

“We actually started the process of finding a suitable parent company some three years ago and we sought a company where we had a good fit and a similar ethos and culture. We thought James Fisher would be an excellent parent back then and the discussions that have taken place over the passing months only reinforced that view. Our dual market sectors of oil and gas and defence fit perfectly and we will functionally operate within James Fisher Marine Services Ltd. Having the backing of James Fisher plc will help the company through this exciting period.”


Clarke and Doug Godsman, the other current joint managing Director of Divex, will both remain with the company, as will Doug Austin, MD Asia Pacific and group business development manager. James Fisher has bought the company for an initial fee of £20m in cash plus a further maximum additional consideration of £13m linked to future profitability.


Nick Henry, CEO of James Fisher and Sons plc, said of the group’s latest acquisition:

“Divex is a market leader in diving equipment for the oil and gas, and defence sectors. It is also the global leader in the design of saturated diving systems, which is a growing market. We believe that it will fit well with our group in terms of its market, customers and geographical spread.”

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