Kentz Corporation Ltd. (LSE: KENZ), an Irish oil engineering company, agreed to buy the field-solutions unit of Houston-based Valerus FS.
The $435 million acquisition will see Kentz expand into shale and into Latin America. “Valerus has technical capabilities, allowing us to expand to new geographies, and gives us new clients,” Kentz chief executive officer Christian Brown said today by phone. “We have found a very healthy, very profitable business that supplements our strategy.” Oil-service providers are snapping up U.S. businesses to take advantage of a boom in shale exploration in the country, which now sees thousands of wells drilled every year. Engineering companies have also flocked to areas off Brazil, the site of the largest oil discovery in the Americas since 1976, as investment in exploration and production there increases. Kentz will finance the transaction by drawing down a $400 million loan, with the remaining funds coming from its own cash reserves or a new $160 million revolving facility, it said in a statement. The deal marks a turnaround for the company, which was itself the subject of takeover bids earlier this year. Meanwhile, Kentz rose to a record in London trading, surging 13 percent to 657.5 pence, the highest closing price since starting to trade in February 2008, after