Candover, Goldman to buy Expro for £1.6 bln

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Funds managed by private equity firms Candover and Alpinvest and Goldman Sachs have agreed to buy British oil services company Expro International for £1.605 billion.($3.16 billion).

Expro International management said in a statement on Thursday it would recommend the 1,435 pence per share bid from the funds’ bidding vehicle Unbrellastream to shareholders. “Umbrellastream’s cash offer provides Expro shareholders with certain value today and fairly reflects both the value that has been created during this period and the future potential of the group,” Chris Fay, Chairman of Expro, said.

Expro shares closed at 1,322 pence on Wednesday. The company said in February it had received a takeover approach, boosting its shares almost 40%. Oil and gas industry services providers such as Expro have benefited as record oil prices prompt energy companies to boost spending on exploration and development of reserves. Candover has previously invested in the oil services sector, with investments in pipemaker Wellstream and in Expro itself, when it backed a management buy-out in 1992. (Reuters)

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