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Offshore wind to float Ashtead Technology stock market listing

Allan Pirie, CEO, Ashtead Technology

Ashtead Technology is aiming for a valuation of up to £180million as it prepares to make its debut on London’s junior market next month.

The Aberdeen company unveiled its plans to float in the Alternative Investment Market (Aim) with a target valuation range between £130m-£180m.

 Ashtead Technology’s Welaptega chain measurement system. 

The company, whose headquarters is in Westhill, is owned by Buckthorn Partners and the Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation (Apicorp), which acquired the business in 2016. Buckthorn is a London-based investment firm, and Apicorp is a financial institution established by the 10-member countries of the Organisation of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries.

Offshore wind uplifting

The firm said it aims to raise cash from investors to capitalise on the “significant expected increase in expenditure” in the global offshore wind market as well as look to buy more companies as part of a “clear and focused bolt-on M&A strategy”.

As a specialist in the rental of equipment for subsea operations, the firm added it is “well placed” to grow its appeal to a customer base looking to save money on buying big ticket items and lease them instead.

The firm said its global base, which takes in nine regional hubs across North America, the Middle and Far East, meant it would target both “structural high growth” in the offshore wind market alongside a “strong, complementary underpin” from its more traditional business of operating inspection, maintenance and repair (IMR) services and decommissioning activities in the oil and gas sector.

Ashtead Technology in Houston 

It pointed to research from Rystad which estimates that the offshore wind market will grow at 19% per annum from 2020 to 2025, and the subsea IMR and construction and the decommissioning markets will grow at 7% and 12% per annum from 2020 to 2025, respectively.

New directors

When the IPO completes, Bill Shannon will join the company’s board as non-executive chairman. It will add two further non-executives to the board – Thomas Thomsen, former Vestas and Areva Wind director and Tony Durrant, former CEO of Premier Oil before its merger with Chrysaor to form Harbour Energy.

Allan Pirie, Ashtead’s chief executive, said: “Ashtead Technology has grown to become one of the most trusted providers of critical equipment and essential services for our clients across the offshore energy sector.

“We are now ideally placed to benefit from the huge rise in global investment into offshore wind as energy producers transition towards more renewable sources of energy.

“An IPO enables us to capitalise on this opportunity, strengthen our product and service offering, extend our geographic footprint and pursue further complementary acquisitions.”

He also extended his welcome to the board members.

He said: “They bring high calibre public company and energy sector experience that will be invaluable as we seek to deliver our growth ambitions for our existing and our new shareholders.”

Mr Shannon added: “Ashtead Technology has built a strong track record as a market leader in subsea equipment rental and solutions, with a rich heritage stretching over 36 years.

“Building on the considerable progress the business has made in recent years, we see significant opportunities to continue to augment organic growth and consolidate a highly fragmented market to create a business of further scale, and I’m thrilled to be joining at this important time.”

Strong momentum

The company said its admission to Aim is expected to take to take place in the second half of November.

Numis Securities is acting as the company’s nominated adviser and sole bookrunner.

Updating recent performance, Ashtead said it was “experiencing strong momentum”  across its markets, with a “high level of customer activity” which has helped it recover from the downturn caused by the pandemic, enabling it to “raise prices towards 2019 levels”.

The directors estimate strong continued demand will see it bring in full year revenues of £52m, up 23% on the prior year.

It added its offshore wind sales opportunity pipeline has increased from £8.2m in April to £31.4m in September 2021.