Stolt Offshore to take majority ownership of Paragon

Anglo-Norwegian subsea contracting giant Stolt Offshore SA said Thursday it had signed of a letter of intent to acquire a majority ownership of US engineering company Paragon Engineering Services Inc. through a deal with Kenneth Arnold, the CEO and controlling shareholder. Stolt said it expects the deal, valued at around $13 million, would be completed by March.


LONDON�Anglo-Norwegian subsea contracting giant Stolt Offshore SA said Thursday it had signed of a letter of intent to acquire a majority ownership of US engineering company Paragon Engineering Services Inc. through a deal with Kenneth Arnold, the CEO and controlling shareholder.

Through the buy-in, valued at $13 million, Stolt will set up a holding company, Paragon Engineering Services International, that will operate out of PES's Houston office, and establish a company, Paragon Europe, in Paris. The transaction is expected to close in March.

Stolt declined to say precisely how much of Arnold's 60% stake in PES it would acquire through what it characterized as a "very complex" deal.

Bernard Vossier, Stolt Offshore's CEO, said the formation of the entity would "combine Stolt Offshore's deepwater design experience with Paragon's topsides design and project management expertise," with a view to enlarging the company's slice of the global deepwater engineering, procurement, construction, and installation project market.

He added that his company "intended to operate and grow the Paragon companies independently of Stolt Offshore."

PES specializes in front end engineering and design studies, detailed engineering, procurement, construction, and project management services to customers for offshore and onshore production facilities and pipelines.

Arnold said with Stolt Offshore his company had "found a partner who is automatically considered for almost every deep water project anywhere in the world."

In December 1999, Stolt took over French offshore construction and engineering company ETPM SA through a cash and shares deal valued at $250 million.

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