Oil drilling maker FMC acquires stake in deep-ocean robotics company for $116 million

Oil drilling equipment manufacturer FMC Technologies Inc. said Friday it would acquire a 45-per cent stake in Schilling Robotics LLC in a move to expand its subsea energy exploration business. Houston, Texas-based FMC Technologies said the $116 million deal is expected to close by 31 December. FMC also will have to right to buy the rest of Schilling Robotics between 2012 and 2014.

According to FMC, the acquisition would give an opportunity for both the companies to render subsea energy production worldwide. Further, FMC expects the relationship to allow it to engage in the increasing integration of remote activities such as subsea processing, well intervention and production optimization.

"This is a unique and exciting opportunity to expand our subsea business in a new direction. Our global subsea franchise will assist Schilling Robotics in extending its reach worldwide and better position it to serve its customers," said President and Chief Executive Peter Kinnear.

FMC Technologies said the deal would add to earnings per share in 2009. For the nine months ended 30 September, FMC Technologies reported profit of $270 million, or $2.07 per share, on revenue of $3.35 billion.

Schilling Robotics, based in Davis, California, is a deep-ocean robotics company, which provides remotely operated vehicles, or ROVs, ROV manipulator systems, control systems, and other high-technology equipment and services for oil and gas subsea exploration and production. Its clientele includes Acergy UK Ltd., Bourbon Subsea Services, Expro North Sea Ltd., and Oceaneering International.