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ABL Group Acquires Decarbonization Energy Consultancy, Software Developer AGR

March 22, 2023 by Joe Panettieri
Rueben Segal, CEO, ABL Group

Energy and marine consultancy ABL Group ASA is acquiring energy consultancy and software company AGR AS from Akastor ASA for $24.58 million. The buyer and the acquired business both have energy expertise that extends from fossil fuels to renewable energy, decarbonization and digital transformation services.

The deal values AGR at US$24.4 million on a cash and debt free basis. The equity purchase price is US$32.8 million. AGR's revenue was $82.1 million in 2022, and adjusted EBIT (earnings before interest and taxes) was $4.7 million.

Related: See all M&A deals involving ESG and sustainability consulting, technology & software firms here.

About the Acquired Business: AGR Details

AGR is based in Oslo, Norway, with additional offices in Stavanger, Bergen and Tromsø in Norway; Perth, Western Australia; and Aberdeen, UK. AGR consists of 377 personnel, of which 196 are AGR employees, and 181 are associates/independent consultants.

At first glance, AGR focuses on fossil fuels. But take a closer look, and the acquired company has low-carbon expertise in such areas as carbon capture, carbon storage, and geothermal technologies.

AGR was formed when AGR and First Geo (formerly Aker Geo) merged in 2019. Fast forward to 2023, and AGR delivers its services through five business lines:

  1. consultancy, which delivers energy consultancy services and personnel in Norway, UK and Australia;
  2. well management, with strong footprint in the Asia Pacific region;
  3. wellsite and operations geology, which operates primarily in Norway;
  4. reservoir management and asset evaluation, operating in Norway; and
  5. software products to support the offshore energy industries globally.

AGR has managed more than 550 oil and gas wells worldwide. Expanding beyond fossil fuels, AGR also has low-carbon expertise in such areas as carbon capture, carbon storage, and geothermal technologies.

About the Buyer: ABL Group

ABL Group is a global independent energy and marine consulting firm working in energy and oceans to "de-risk and drive the energy transition across the renewables, maritime and oil and gas sectors," the company said. ABL Group is based in London, England. The company has 977 employees listed on LinkedIn.

ABL has M&A experience. The company in July 2022 acquired Add Energy, an energy consultancy and software firm that has operations in Stavanger, Norway; Perth, Western Australia; Aberdeen, UK; Houston, Texas, USA; and Calgary, Canada.

On the renewable energy front, ABL Group as of March 2023 has been involved in:

  • 233 offshore wind projects delivering a total wind capacity of 118 GW
  • 31 floating wind projects delivering a floating capacity of 11 GW.

ABL Group Buys AGR: Executive Perspectives

In a prepared statement about the deal, ABL Group CEO Rueben Segal said: “This is a good fit for ABL Group. The acquisition gives ABL Group a strong position in well and reservoir consultancy, grows our position within digitalization and energy transition solutions, and expands our services with a resourcing offering that is already well established in the oil and gas sector and positioned for growth within offshore wind.”

Svein Sollund, CEO, AGR

Added Svein Sollund, CEO of AGR: “AGR is first and foremost a consultancy business. Akastor has been a great owner for us, but I believe everyone sees the industrial benefits of integrating AGR into a fully-fledged energy consultancy environment such as ABL Group. AGR has a strong position within oil and gas but has during the past couple of years increasingly been asked by clients to support their energy transition projects. Tapping into ABL Group’s huge global competence and resource pool will allow us to provide our customers with an even more comprehensive product and service offering. We will at the same time significantly strengthen ABL Group’s well management offering. It is a business combination that makes sense for all parties involved.”

The M&A deal is expected to close around April 18, 2023.

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