General Electric to acquire Wellstream Holdings for £800 million

General Electric (GE), the $157-billion US-based multinational conglomerate, yesterday said that it will acquire manufacturer and supplier of flexible pipe systems to the offshore oil and gas industry, UK's Wellstream Holdings, for £800 million (($1.3 billion).

The company has been at the centre of widespread takeover rumours for some months and in mid-September Wellstream's management confirmed having received a number of preliminary approaches.

The £800-million deal comes after the board of Wellstream had rejected GE's October 2010 offer of 750 pence a share amounting to £755 million, (See: Wellstream rejects GE's £755 million bid)

Earlier in September 2010 it had rebuffed Houston-based manufacturer of land-based and offshore rigs National Oilwell Varco's 700 pence a share offer. 

New York-based GE is now offering Wellstream shareholders 780 pence a share in cash plus a special dividend of 6 pence a share, which is 30 pence higher than its earlier offer of 750 pence a share.

With 2009 turnover of £386 million, Wellstream, is the world's largest supplier of flexible pipes used in offshore drilling and is involved in the technical advances required to tap "sub-salt" deposits in the deep water off Brazil.