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US deal for Aberdeen company

Wood in $59m acquisition of Detroit engineer

Robin WatsonWood Group has acquired CEC Controls Company, a Detroit-based designer and builder of industrial & process control systems mainly for the car industry, in a $59m cash deal.

It comes amid concerns that Wood’s £2.2bn takeover of Amec Foster Wheeler could be derailed by a bribery investigation. Wood Group is not involved in the inquiry but Amec is helping the Serious Fraud Office investigate alleged bribery and money laundering at Monaco-based Unaoil.

Petrofac has already been dragged into the inquiry as investigators want to discover whether bribes were made via third parties to Unaoil.

Reports say it could hold up the Wood Group takeover of Amec, although there is no suggestion of wrongdoing from either party.

The US company Wood is acquiring employs more than 220 staff in 12 North American offices and an office in Romania

The deal involves an initial payment of $44m with the balance paid over three years. It follows Wood’s acquisition of the Automated Technology Group (ATG), one of the UK’s largest independent suppliers of control and power solutions for industrial automation, in September 2015.

CEC Controls’ clients include Ford, GM and Fiat-Chrysler and the business will continue to be led by its existing management team. CEC Controls currently has gross assets of $34m and generated an EBITA of $9.6m in 2016.

Robin Watson (pictured), Wood Group’s chief executive said: “Bringing 50 years of expertise in delivering services to the automotive sector, CEC Controls significantly complements and strengthens the innovative technical solutions we provide to clients within automation and control.

“The acquisition supports the geographical broadening of our footprint within the automotive sector particularly in the US; deepening our presence in the key automotive hub of Detroit, where CEC Controls is headquartered.

“It also provides us the opportunity to further enhance the industrial process & control capabilities we offer to this industry and adjacent sectors including aerospace, logistics, water, and pharmaceuticals.”

President of CEC Controls, Robert Scheper said: “Wood Group’s global footprint and breadth of capabilities offers us the opportunity to enhance our client solutions and access significant international growth opportunities.

“We believe our extensive expertise in the automotive manufacturing industry, married with Wood Group’s two decades of experience in automation and control, creates a powerful solution-driven service offering for clients.”

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