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Atkins strengthens its oil and gas business

Consultant Atkins has bought Finnish firm Pöyry’s oil and gas business for €17.25M (£15.3M) and announced plans to plug its pension black hole

Pöyry’s 130 people-strong oil and gas business will now transfer into Atkins existing operations in the UK, Europe, Middle East and North America. Pöyry teams are based in Aberdeen, Stavanger (Norway) and Perth (Australia).

A statement from Atkins said it “considerably strengthens” the firm’s position in the “buoyant oil and gas support services sector” and adds to its strategy to strengthen its energy business.

“This acquisition represents a step up in Atkins’ ability to deliver process-led multi-disciplinary projects, adding to our traditional oil and gas consultancy and assurance services, on a worldwide scale,” said Atkins chief executive Keith Clarke.

This acquisition follows the purchase of the Technical Services Scotland group from RWE npower in March which added strength to Atkins’ capability in power generation.

Pension black hole

The firm has also revealed it is talks with 1,400 staff about a set of measures to plug its pension black hole. The company proposes to remove the link between employees’ accrued pension and future increases in salary.

This change, which affects approximately 1,400 staff, would reduce the funding deficit by £28M down to £265M.

Atkins said it also aims to pay up to £32m each year over the next 10 years to eliminate the funding deficit.

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