Wood Group secures Algeria acquisition


Wood Group yesterday acquired a majority stake in Somias, a maintenance and building support firm serving the Algerian oil and petrochemical industries.

The Aberdeen-based oil and gas services and engineering group will hold a 55 per cent share in the firm, while 45 per cent will be retained by Groupe Asmidal, an Algerian firm and Somias's parent.

Somias brought home revenues of £6.3 million for the year to the end of December 2005.

Les Thomas, group director for Wood' Group's production facilities activities, said the acquisition symbolised "a strategic move" into North Africa, given Somias' excellent track record of operational support for major firms.

Wood Group recently forged a contract in Algeria with In Amenas, which is made up of BP, Statoil and Sonatrach.

Wood Group's revenues for 2005 jumped 21 per cent to $2.8 billion (£1.5 billion).

On news of the acquisition, shares in the oilfield services group moved up 2.2 per cent, or 5p, to close at 238p.

Somias will keep its trade name and continue under the leadership of Zaghouane Khodja, its general manager.

Mr Khodja said the firm, which employs around 450 workers, was very excited to be joining Wood Group.

Wood Group employs more than 16,000 people worldwide and operating in 40 countries.

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