Offshore Water Management (OWM) sold to Normec Group

Normec, a leading international provider of Testing, Inspection, Certification and Compliance (TICC) services, has acquired Offshore Water Management Limited (OWM), a specialist in the provision of regulatory compliance services to the offshore and marine sectors. BCMS advised the shareholders of OWM throughout the transaction. 

Established in 2008, and based in Westhill, Aberdeen, Scotland, OWM primarily focuses on regulatory compliance for drinking water. The company’s fully integrated offering – which comprises sampling, technical supply, engineering, audit and consultancy – enables its offshore and marine industry customers to achieve total compliance with statutory regulations, covering critical drinking water-related areas such as legionella and other contaminants.  

“BCMS is a very impressive collective; a great team has to be a ‘Ministry of Talents’, and that’s you, for sure” – Russell Caldwell and Neill Crone, OWM 

OWM serves a customer base of over 150 organisations across 16 countries, and customers include operators of Offshore/Platform Support Vessels (OSV/PSVs), offshore/marine service providers, Exploration & Production (E&P) operators and drilling companies. 

An innovative, specialist business, OWM is a recognised thought leader in the offshore/marine water sector, and has had significant input into the development of current industry standards. OWM holds Lloyd’s Register Quality Assurance (LRQA) certification for ISO 9001 (Quality Management Systems), alongside numerous industry-specific memberships and certifications.  

OWM’s integrated solutions and expertise have been the foundation of impressive growth trajectory. A high-margin business, with over 70% of revenues derived from compliance driven TICC-services, OWM has posted double-digit annual revenue growth in recent years. 

Headquartered in Utrecht, Netherlands, Normec is a leading organisation in the TICC industry, with areas of expertise ranging from water, air and soil quality to fire safety, food safety and management systems. First founded in 2015, Normec has expanded internationally through the strategic acquisition of specialist businesses such as OWM, and now employs over 4,500 staff internationally. 

Transaction perspectives

Commenting on the transaction, OWM Founder and Technical Director Russell Caldwell and Managing Director Neill Crone said: “This acquisition will be an accelerant to the business we have built and grown over the years, and we’re absolutely delighted that OWM has a new home with a leading international organisation, with shared culture and values. 

“Timing is everything, and the wise counsel we received from the BCMS team was a big part of the decision on when to come to market and seek the right acquirer” – Russell Caldwell and Neill Crone, OWM 

“The hands-on support and expertise from BCMS throughout the transaction – and indeed for years beforehand – has been excellent. Timing is everything, and the wise counsel we received from the BCMS team was a big part of the decision on when to come to market and seek the right acquirer for our business.  

“Very many thanks to the BCMS team for their acumen, and diligence throughout the process. BCMS is a very impressive collective; a great team has to be a ‘Ministry of Talents’, and that’s you, for sure.” 

Normec Group CEO Joep Bruins commented: “OWM provides new opportunities to further establish our relevance in the maritime testing and compliance ecosystem in addition to Normec Maritime Testing Services and Verifavia. We are looking forward to working with Neill and the wider team, who have done an incredible job in developing OWM in the last years.” 

Dujon Bosman, BCMS Associate Director, commented: “It has been our privilege to work with the shareholders of OWM. Russell and Neill have been exemplary clients, and together with their expert team, have built industry-leading systems and processes and an exceptionally strong brand reputation.  

“We don’t expect to see M&A activity cooling down any time soon, and competition for the best businesses is driving notably strong valuations” – Dujon Bosman, BCMS 

“Specialising in working environments known for harsh conditions, OWM has helped to set standards in the offshore and marine space, which have contributed to safer environments for both employees and employers. Ensuring the safety of water compliance for drinking water, potable water and most recently ballast water, OWM has pioneered effective, efficient service delivery in the industry.”  

“There are clear synergies between Normec and OWM. The Normec brand is well established in the TICC industry, and the consolidation of OWM into the group, together with the management team, will see OWM’s growth accelerated within this exciting industry. It goes without saying that we wish all parties every success.” 

TICC sector analysis – growth and buyer demand

Commenting on acquisition activity in the sector, Dujon Bosman added: “The TICC sector has seen exceptional growth over the last couple of years, and international acquirer and investor interest in the best privately owned businesses is currently extremely high. This demand is driven by market conditions, with regulatory bodies requiring stricter and safer environments for operating companies, and clamping down on insufficient working practices across the globe. As such, we don’t expect to see M&A activity cooling down any time soon, and competition for the best businesses – with specialist areas of operation and established brand reputation – is driving notably strong valuations.  

“As an advisor, BCMS is privileged to be part of this fast-growing industry. We have a particularly strong track record advising on TICC sector transactions, and the sale of OWM to Normec is the latest in a long line of successful BCMS-led completions, which include the recent sales of Hutton + Rostron to SOCOTEC and Evolution Water Services to Phenna Group.” 

Alongside BCMS, the shareholders of OWM were advised by Burness Paull LLP. 

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