px group acquires Saltend Industrial Park infrastructure business from BP
The px group (‘px’), the Teesside based infrastructure solutions business, has agreed to acquire the infrastructure operation at Saltend Industrial Park, near Hull, from BP.
The park provides comprehensive energy, infrastructure, operations and maintenance services to leading global companies including: Air Products, BP, Engie, INEOS, Nippon Gohsei, Perenco, Vivergo and Yara.
Following a transaction in 2016 which saw Square One Law acting for Blue Water Energy on its investment into the px group, the firm has now acted for px on this deal, providing commercial, property and HR diligence advice and supporting px on the negotiation and finalisation of transaction documentation.
Full transition of the 370 acre tier one site and its operation to px is expected to be completed over the next few months, with approximately 50 BP workers transferring to px employment.
A safe changeover is the top priority, followed by a commitment to continue with the expansion of the park, in collaboration with the existing tenants. BP will remain as one of the largest businesses on this site.
Established as an independent company in 2002 and with an operating history going back to 1992, px has proven expertise in managing, operating and maintaining some of Europe’s largest industrial facilities over the last several decades. Last year the group was awarded the contract to operate and maintain the St. Fergus gas processing plant in Aberdeenshire, Scotland.
px chief executive officer, Ian Clifford commented, “The acquisition of Saltend marks a major new chapter in the development and diversification of our business. The provision of industrial utility services on a large COMAH site is a natural extension of our core competence in gas processing, power plant and midstream infrastructure operations. Our huge experience operating and maintaining plants on sites like this and in the processes carried out, makes this an ideal opportunity for px.
“Over the coming weeks we will work to ensure a safe transition, with the focus on uninterrupted production. We will then seek to further develop the park and attract more manufacturers to benefit from the unique competitive advantages it offers.”
BP will remain as the owner and operator of two acetyls plants at the Saltend Industrial Park, which are the largest producers of acetic acid in Europe. Additionally, BP’s acetyls business in Hull is at the forefront of research and technology in the petrochemicals field and hosts one of the principal global research and technology centres for petrochemicals.
BP’s chief operating officer of petrochemicals, Rita Griffin, said: “Our petrochemicals business is in a competitive market but one where we see opportunities based on the strength of our proprietary technology, the expertise of our people and our advantaged manufacturing operations.
With the support of px as our infrastructure providers, we can concentrate on our strategy to drive forward our safe and competitive acetyls operations. We’re delighted with the expertise px will bring to the park and we look forward to working with them towards the next chapter of BP’s story in Hull.
In March of 2016, px announced its partnership with Blue Water Energy, a specialist private equity energy fund. Since then the group has embarked on a strategic growth plan.
Graeme Sword, partner of London based BWE, added: “In the 12 months since our initial transaction, px has shown it has impressive operating capability and significant organic growth potential.
“The Blue Water Energy model is to create value through a ‘buy and build’ strategy and this acquisition of BP’s Saltend Industrial Park will accelerate growth and expand px’s unique offering. We look forward to continuing working very closely with Ian and the management team, to build a world class company.”
James Bryce, corporate partner and head of Square One Law’s energy team said:
“This will be a transformational deal for px and Blue Water Energy. With px’s strong track record in operating critical infrastructure this is a natural next step in diversifying its offering and will further enhance opportunities for the regional supply chain.”