Industrial operations specialist PX Group – the company behind critical infrastructure on Humber, Teesside and Scotland – has been acquired.
Aksiom Services Group, a partnership between Ara Partners, Aksiom Group and the management team, acquired private equity firm Bluewater after what has been described as a “very successful five-year partnership for both parties”.
The undisclosed deal is described as laying the foundation for PX’s ambitious growth strategy through energy and industrial transition.
It owns the rapidly changing Saltend Chemicals Park in East Yorkshire, and operates the St Fergus gas terminal in Aberdeenshire and the Teesside gas processing plant.
PX will continue to be led by its current management team and president.
Geoff Holmes, Managing Director, said: “For decades, PX has provided secure and reliable operations to major owners of infrastructure assets in the energy and industrial sectors.
“Working in partnership with our customers to achieve continuous improvements in safety, efficiency and performance, delivering material benefits to all stakeholders and the environment. Today, as the company looks across the UK and Europe to new potential markets, we are encouraged by our unprecedented levels of activity and the opportunities available for PX Group to be a premier player. plan in providing and operating the next generation of energy and industrial assets for our and new customers.
“The combination of Aksiom Services Group between Ara’s focus on investing in industrial decarbonisation and Aksiom’s expertise in developing high-growth technical services companies fits perfectly with our strategy.”
Based in Stockton, PX is responsible for around 30% of the UK’s gas supply, while also operating power plants for many other customers across the country.
It acquired the strategic 370-acre Saltend site from BP in 2018, retaining the main oil company as a tenant until Ineos recently disappeared.
The site is the subject of four major investments in progress with rare earth processing, complex chemical production, lumber products and hydrogen all emerging, while biofuel production is preparing to return from a period of stagnation as legislation catches up with investment.
Charles Cherington, Managing Partner at Ara, headquartered in the United States, said: “The proven technical, project management and operations expertise of the PX Group throughout the lifecycle of infrastructure assets. complexes creates a unique, high-value opportunity for an investor like Ara, with a portfolio of companies developing and building low-carbon industrial infrastructure. Reducing carbon intensity across the industry – both the large installed base of existing assets and assets to be built over the next few decades – is at the heart of Ara’s mission, and px Group achieves this goal exceptionally well.
Aksiom is based in Dublin with its founders, Christopher Picotte and Luis Pais Correia, both having served on the PX board for several years.
In the five years under Bluewater’s ownership, the company’s revenues have tripled and annual profitability has increased sevenfold. In the past year, it has seen profit growth of 15%.
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Graeme Sword, Founding Partner of Bluewater, said: “This is a great example of the benefits that private equity can bring to businesses and investors. Our strategy was to buy and build, and in five years our investment has more than tripled. At the same time, we have transformed the company into a leader in energy transition by using our network to complement the management team and drive growth both organically and through acquisition.
“PX is now well positioned as a market leader to capitalize on the energy transition in the UK and Europe. Bluewater wishes the company, CEO Geoff Holmes, and its talented workforce, a bright future under the new owner. “