Suretank targets €50m sale of business
An Irish oil services company is in talks to be sold for as much as €50m.
Louth-based Suretank Group Limited is in discussions with a Norwegian private equity firm to sell itself. The deal is expected to be confirmed before the end of this month.
If it goes through, it will create a windfall for company founder Patrick Joy, who founded the company in the early 1990s.
The firm specialises in making storage containers, and cryogenics for the offshore oil and gas industry.
Many of the containers are purpose-built for shipping oil and petroleum products by rail and road.
The company has offices around the world, in Europe, Asia and the Americas.
Mr Joy declined to comment on the proposed sale, but industry sources said the two sides were close to an agreement, with the final sale prices set to be close to €50m.
Suretank is considered a world leader in the oil storage field.
The most recent accounts for the business show that for the year to the end of March 2012 Suretank Group Limited reported profits after tax of €2.9m, up from €1.9m a year earlier.
Turnover rose sharply to €56.7m, compared to €35.9m in 2011. At that stage Suretank's accumulated profits were worth some €2.9m, while net debt had been almost halved to €1.1m.
Mr Joy is currently in New York as part of Ernst & Young's Entrepreneur of the Year award.