National Oilwell Varco to buy Canada's CE Franklin

US oilfield equipment group National Oilwell Varco Inc yesterday agreed to buy oilfield production equipment distributor CE Franklin Ltd for about C$240 million ($233.08 million) in cash.

CE Franklin's largest shareholder, Schlumberger NV, the world's largest oilfield services company, has agreed to the buyout.

The move comes three months after National Oilwell acquired Schlumberger's piping and fitting unit for an undisclosed amount and the $673.4 million purchase of oil pipeline supplier NKT Flexibles from Danish industrial group NKT Holding and Norway's Subsea.

CE Franklin, which has a market value of about C$176 million, provides products and services to the energy industry, distributing pipes, valves, flanges, fittings and other products to more than 3,000 customers in the oil and gas, oil sands, midstream, refining, petrochemical and non-oilfield related industries.

The Calgary, Canada-based company distributes more than 25,000 products sourced from over 2,000 suppliers.

Houston-based National Oilwell will pay C$12.75 per share, a 36 per cent premium over for CE Franklin's closing price on 30 May on the Toronto Stock Exchange.