02 October 2004
Dundee oil service company Kolfor Plant has been sold in a deal believed to be worth more than £5million.
The firm, which has 35 employees in the city, has been bought by Atlas Copco, an international industrial group with its head office in Stockholm, Sweden.
John Beaton, a founder of Kolfor in 1973, retired as managing director yesterday after the sale was concluded.
The 67-year-old and his family were majority shareholders in the firm, while operations director John Spink and financial director Murray Kydd held the other shares.
Mr Beaton will still work with Kolfor on a consultancy basis, while Mr Spink and Mr Kydd remain with the company.
Mr Kydd will be acting general manager until a permanent appointment is made.
Mr Beaton said yesterday that there had been many approaches for Kolfor by other firms over the years. He said the decision to sell had led to mixed emotions, but he added: "Atlas is a good company and it has exciting plans for the business."
Mr Beaton said he would be travelling the world representing Kolfor and would also be at major events such as the Offshore Technology Show in Houston, in spring.
The deal with Atlas was concluded early yesterday. Several groups are thought to have been interested in acquiring Kolfor, which has annual turnover of around £3.6million.
Mr Spink stressed it would be very much business as usual at the firm, which will be part of the portable-air division in Atlas's Compressor Technique business unit. Kolfor will retain its name, continue to be based in Dundee and no other management changes are planned.
Mr Spink said that being part of a larger group would give the firm more strength.
Kolfor - which rents equipment to the energy industry - is active in many parts of the world, but Mr Spink added: "We will now be looking at more geographic markets."
Geert Follens, president of Atlas's portable-air division, said: "The Kolfor name is well known as a leader in generator and compressor rental to the oil and gas industry. It will support Atlas's developments in this highly specialised market."
A spokesman for Atlas said no job losses were planned at Kolfor. The workforce may grow as the business expands.
Atlas employees around 26,000 people worldwide and last year had turnover of more than £3billion.
Source: The Press & Journal