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SBS acquires the assets and business of Seaforth Maritime

SBS Logistics Ltd has acquired as a going concern, the business and assets of Seaforth Maritime for an undisclosed sum. The funding package is being provided by Bank of Scotland Corporate.

As a result of this acquisition, SBS’s anticipated turnover in 2006 will be around £75m, making it one of the biggest oil and gas logistics companies in the UK.

Seaforth’s 135 affected staff have transferred to SBS, increasing its workforce to more than 350.

Seaforth assets included in the acquisition are its offshore supply base at Waterloo Quay in Aberdeen including two marine gas oil storage tanks and Seaforth’s extensive fleet of trucks, forklifts and cranes. It has also been agreed that SBS will gain exclusive use of storage facilities at Potterton and Marywell, both in Aberdeenshire.

SBS will honour all of Seaforth’s existing contracts with clients.

SBS will also take over Seaforth’s Great Yarmouth supply vessel loading and discharge operations, which service the oil and gas industry in the Southern North Sea.

Mike Porter, Managing Director of SBS, said: “Bringing together the assets and workforce of SBS and Seaforth will enable us to support both businesses’ existing logistics clients better, by offering a more effective vessel turnaround service in Aberdeen. The additional facilities will also give us the capacity to grow and further strengthen our position as one of the UK’s leading logistics companies for the oil and gas industry.

“The marine gas oil storage tanks at Waterloo Quay give us the opportunity to further develop the fuel services side of our business. We have been involved in the provision of these services since the 1970s and already have a 10,000m3 storage facility in Shetland. The provision of fuel services is another logical bolt-on to our business. Many of our customers buy fuel, particularly marine gas oil, and the acquisition of storage facilities in Aberdeen will allow us to add value to the supply of fuel to these clients.

“The acquisition of Seaforth will also give us a foothold and customer base in the Southern North Sea where we intend to develop new logistics services in conjunction with Peterson Supplylink, our partners in the Netherlands.”

Andrew Robertson, Director of Bank of Scotland Corporate in Aberdeen commented, “We are delighted to be supporting SBS Logistics Ltd and the growth of their business. We have every confidence in Mike and his team to make this significant acquisition a great success.”

Andrew Macdonald, Managing Director of Seaforth Maritime said, “ In less than two years we have turned the fortunes and prospects for the business round and successfully positioned Seaforth for its next stage of development. Coupled with this is the fact that consolidation within the market creates significant value for the respective customers as well as exciting opportunities for the employees of the enlarged SBS.”

Following the acquisition of Seaforth, Waterloo Quay, Potterton and Marywell will become SBS branded sites, however Seaforth’s Transport and Cranes Division will continue to trade under the Seaforth name as a trading division of SBS Logistics.

Mike Porter added: “SBS has no plans to merge its existing transport and craneage operation, which is focused internally towards supporting its contracted quayside and property tenants’ requirements, with that of Seaforth. The transport and crane hire division of Seaforth will continue to trade under that name and will be encouraged to further develop its diverse range of clients within and beyond the oil and gas industry. It is important that in logistics we maintain that broader perspective.”

As a result of the acquisition, SBS will be moving its head office function on 1st April, from South Esplanade East to Nautilus House at Waterloo Quay, where it has signed a 10-year lease. The South Esplanade East premises are being retained as an operational base.

This acquisition is the latest in a series of major investments made by SBS to expand its business in the UK. In June SBS acquired its first operating hub outside Scotland, with the award of a five-year contract from Centrica Energy to operate and develop its supply base in Heysham, Lancashire. In September SBS acquired Shearer Shipping Services of Lerwick in Shetland, making it Shetland’s primary supplier of shipping services. SBS has also made a significant investment in a decommissioning pad at its Greenhead base in Shetland to service North Sea decommissioning contracts in the pipeline.

These investments are in line with SBS’s growth plans announced early in 2005 following Peterson Offshore Group’s investment.

SBS provides integrated logistics support to blue chip clients in the UK oil and gas and other industries from its bases in Lerwick, Aberdeen, Edzell and Heysham. Services include quayside operations, road transport and craneage hire, property rental and materials management services, fuel storage and decommissioning.

More information about SBSL can be found at www.sbsl.com

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