Mitsui buys STATS, Aberdeenshire pipeline firm

Koichi Fujita and Leigh Howarth

Tokyo-based Mitsui & Co. has agreed to acquire STATS (UK) Ltd , the Kintore, Aberdeenshire-based oil and gas pipeline specialist.

STATS CEO Leigh Howarth and all other executive members of STATS will remain with the company, while Pete Duguid, chairman and founder of STATS, will retire.

Private equity investor Business Growth Fund, which has supported STATS since 2012, will realise its investment and exit the business.

Founded in 1998, STATS currently has operations in nine countries.

A deal to sell STATS to Australia-listed SRJ Technologies Group plc (SRJ) fell through last year.

“As a global player in the field of pipeline repair equipment manufacturing and engineering services, STATS excels in the servicing of large-diameter, high-pressure pipelines, which requires advanced technical capabilities unique to STATS,” said Mitsui.

“The company has carried out numerous projects for major national and international energy companies and pipeline operators in many countries worldwide.

“Within the context of creating a circular economy, demand to prolong the life of ageing energy pipeline infrastructure through maintenance and repair is expected to continue to grow.

“While at the same time, within the framework of energy transition, the necessity to convert existing pipeline infrastructure to the supply of hydrogen, and the capturing, transportation and storage of carbon dioxide (CCS) is required to support a decarbonized society. STATS is uniquely positioned to provide their products and services to support these initiatives.”

Koichi Fujita, COO of Mitsui’s Iron & Steel Products Business Unit, said: “With STATS’ position as a market leader in the global energy industry, we are confident that this acquisition will strengthen Mitsui’s business processes and provide new opportunities for growth in the areas of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) and hydrogen.

“We will also leverage our network and expertise to maximise STATS’ growth potential and achieve market acceleration for sustainable infrastructure maintenance.

“Strategically, the acquisition will help progress Mitsui’s Medium-term Management Plan for transformation and growth, and play a pivotal role in realizing our mission of addressing key issues of today to build brighter futures, everywhere.”

STATS CEO Leigh Howarth said: “The acquisition of STATS is complementary to Mitsui’s plan to establish a strong, sustainable presence in the pipeline maintenance market as a service provider.

“Having worked with the Mitsui team for several months now, we’re delighted to be formally joining forces to pursue opportunities in both the traditional oil and gas pipeline markets and the emerging low carbon markets …

“Supported by Mitsui’s broad energy relationships and investments, we see significant growth potential for STATS from this transaction, and resultantly excellent career development opportunities for all our staff.”