Local legal experts have completed a multi million pound international acquisition for a Norwegian oil and gas solutions company that is expected to strengthen its UK base. Business and commercial property lawyers at BHP Law worked on the deal for IK-Group AS, whose UK subsidiary, IK-UK Limited, is based in Newton Aycliffe.
The company has acquired Online Electronics Limited (OEL), a leading global pipeline communications specialist based in Aberdeen with subsidiaries in the United States, Dubai, Singapore and Perth, Australia.
BHP Law has acted for IK-UK since 2011 and was brought in by the Stavanger-based parent company on the complex acquisition, which it completed in just four months.
The team at BHP Law was led by corporate law specialist Gary Copeland, who was assisted by commercial property partner Sonia Hunter and Karolyn Scott throughout the deal.
Gary explained: “The multi-national nature of the companies involved and OEL’s subsidiaries meant that we had to operate across different jurisdictions in the various territories.”
“It was a pleasure to work with IK Group as clients. The teamwork and pragmatic approach given to the deal assisted immensely in what were some complex and protracted negotiations at the early stage.”
Roald Hunvik, of Alpha Corporate Finance, transaction advisors who set up the deal and played a crucial part throughout the negotiations, was equally critical to the deal, he added.
Property purchase, tenancy agreements, intellectual property, the transfer of 40 employees, grants, and distributor and agent contracts were all part of the acquisition.
Sonia explained: “As OEL is based in Scotland we supplemented our knowledge of Scottish law by instructing local solicitors to assist with specialist Scottish land aspects.”
Karolyn added: “It was a complex case, especially in terms of due diligence and incorporating all OEL’s subsidiaries into the share purchase, but we’re delighted for both parties that we were able to complete quickly and efficiently,” added Karolyn.
Christian Bull Eriksson, CEO of IK-Group AS, said the number of employees within the group was now close to 200. “The acquisition of OEL further strengthens and widens IK’s position within the pipeline sector of the international oil and gas industry. The investment is expected to create additional jobs in the next 12 months through increased market share driven by research, development and special engineering projects.”
The acquisition brings together IK-Group’s pig manufacturing – devices used in the maintenance of pipelines without the flow of product having to be stopped – and niche pipeline engineering services with OEL’s expertise in developing cutting edge products for pipeline monitoring, pipeline data communication and logging systems.
Christian added: “IK-Group will keep the well-established OEL brand and global structure as this has proven to be highly successful. The companies are an excellent fit and fully complement each other in terms of sector, technology and geography.”

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(L-R) Richard Whadcoat, MD of IK-UK Ltd, with Gary Copeland and Karolyn Scott, of BHP Law, and Ray Schofield, chief financial officer at IK-UK Ltd at Newton Aycliffe