Firm in deal with James Fisher

SeaEnergy in administration and sells subsidiary

Fisher logoSeaEnergy, the Aberdeen oil services firm, has called in administrators Blair Nimmo, Geoff Jacobs and Tony Friar of KPMG and sold one of its subsidiaries.

Marine services company James Fisher has acquired Return to Scene, one of two principal trading entities along with SE Innovation.

R2S and SEIL provide visual asset management software services and packages to a variety of sectors. R2S holds the intellectual property which supports the VAMS, which is the key asset of the group.

SeaEnergy also owns 100% of the share capital in Eagle H C, which holds two UK royalty interests in respect of oil and gas exploration fields, and 100% of the share capital in SeaEnergy Hibernia, which holds 18.7% of Lansdowne Oil & Gas. Trading in the shares of Lansdowne is currently suspended. 

SeaEnergy began to experience cash flow challenges in late 2015, due to the ongoing oil price decline adversely impacting R2S activity levels. As seen throughout the industry, client orders were cancelled or postponed, and the number of new business enquiries reduced significantly.

In response to these challenges, the SeaEnergy directors secured additional funding in November 2015 via a £1 million working capital loan. In early 2016, trading conditions began to deteriorate even further.

On 4 March SeaEnergy announced that it was facing significant cash flow difficulties and would need to consider a sale of its main assets, or the Group businesses would be unable to continue trading beyond May 2016. In March 2016, the directors began a targeted marketing exercise for the sale of the whole or part of the Group. No viable offers were received at that time. 

On 26 April trading in the shares of SeaEnergy were suspended, pending clarification of its financial position.

KPMG was appointed to run an accelerated sales process on 28 April 2016. A preferred bidder was selected by the group on 13 May 2016.

Prior to the appointment of the Joint Administrators, the business, assets and 10 employees of SEIL (including the Return to Scene forensic, and Max & Co businesses) were sold to R2S by the SEIL directors, and seven employees of SeaEnergy were transferred to R2S.

Immediately following the appointment, the shares of R2S were acquired by James Fisher Holdings UK for £1.9m.

All 33 employees of R2S (including the employees transferred from SEIL and SeaEnergy) were transferred as part of the transaction. With the exception of one individual, all employees are based in Aberdeen.

Of the remaining seven SeaEnergy employees, three have been made redundant immediately following the appointment and four have been retained to assist the Joint Administrators.

Mr Nimmo said: “We are pleased to have concluded the sale of R2S to James Fisher, which will safeguard the majority of jobs within the group, maintain customer service, and provide the best outcome for SeaEnergy’s creditors. Based on the information available at present, it is unlikely there will be any recovery for the shareholders.

“We are now focused on realising the remaining assets and investments held by SeaEnergy, and would encourage any party with an interest in acquiring all, or parts, of these investments to make contact with us as soon as possible.”

WH Ireland has resigned as nominated adviser and broker to SeaEnergy with immediate effect.  If SeaEnergy fails to appoint a replacement nominated adviser within one month from today, the admission of its AIM securities will be cancelled.

Marine group James Fisher will pay further £100,000 should R2S win certain contracts before 31 December 2016.

For the year ended 31 December 2014 the company reported turnover of £4.7m and operating profit of £2.2m.  The unaudited management accounts for the year ended 31 December 2015 reported an operating loss of £0.5m.

Nick Henry, chief executive of James Fisher, said: “R2S provides digital services to many of our existing customers and has potential to work in our wider sector and geographical base.  We look forward to R2S joining the James Fisher Group.”

EC Hambro Rabben & Partners acted as corporate adviser to James Fisher.

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