New owner

WoodMac sold to New York firm in £2.9bn deal

Kraken oil field
WoodMac has provided research on the North Sea oil and gas sector

Energy consultancy Wood Mackenzie, has been acquired by a New York headquartered private equity firm in a deal worth up to $3.3 billion (£2.9bn).

Veritas Capital will pay $3.1bn in cash plus an add-on contingent sum of $200m to data analytics provider Verisk which wants to streamline its business to focus on insurance.

Nasdaq-listed Verisk acquired Edinburgh-based WoodMac in 2015 from buyout firm Hellman & Friedman. It provides data and analysis for the energy, renewables and natural resource industry.

WoodMac was launched as a stockbroker in 1844 and began researching energy markets with the North Sea oil boom in 1973. It has been through a number of owners and there had been speculation of another change earlier this month.

Lee Shavel, chief executive of Verisk, said the latest deal will advance WoodMac’s competitive position.

“As co-presidents of Wood Mackenzie, Mark Brinin and Joe Levesque have demonstrated remarkable leadership and have continued to grow the business by relentlessly innovating on behalf of their clients,” he said.

“We’re proud to have supported Wood Mackenzie’s growth and are confident in their bright future as part of Veritas.”

The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2023, subject to relevant approvals, while Verisk said it intends to use the net proceeds to pay down debt and return value to shareholders.

Ramzi Musallam, chief executive and managing partner of Veritas, said: “Wood Mackenzie is playing a vital role at the forefront of the global energy transition by providing essential data and insights to organisations across the value chain.”

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