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Weir to sell Oil & Gas division to Caterpillar

The Weir Group says it has entered into an agreement for the all-cash sale of its entire Oil & Gas division to Caterpillar Inc for an enterprise value of $405 million, subject to customary working capital and debt-like adjustments at closing.

This follows the announcement in February 2020 that Weir would seek to maximise value from its Oil & Gas division as it continued its strategic transformation into a premium mining technology pure play.

The agreement will see Weir generate net proceeds to reduce the group’s leverage, while the transaction facilitates a $70 million US cash tax benefit for Weir to be realised over the medium term, it said.

While the transaction is subject to Weir shareholder approval, the company is hoping for it be completed by the end of 2020, assuming normal regulatory clearances.

Selling the division to Cat will help Weir transition into a premium mining technology pure play “focused on attractive markets underpinned by global demographic trends, the transition to a low carbon society and adoption of new technologies in the mining industry”, it said.

It will also provide a “differentiated aftermarket, service and technology offering with proven earnings stability and strong cash generation through the cycle”.

The company’s strategic intent will now be to build on leading mission-critical positions in the mining supply chain from extraction to concentration and tailings management. It will be aided by a strengthened balance sheet to provide enhanced flexibility to invest in future growth opportunities, it said.

Jon Stanton, Weir Group Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are pleased to have reached this agreement that delivers a great home for the Oil & Gas division and maximises value for our stakeholders. Alongside the previous sale of the Flow Control division and the acquisition of ESCO, it is a major milestone in transforming the group into a focused, premium mining technology business.

“It means Weir is ideally positioned to benefit from long-term structural demographic trends and climate change actions, which will increase demand for essential metals that must also be produced more sustainably and efficiently. This will require the innovative engineering and close customer partnerships that define Weir, and it is why we are so excited about the future.”

Joe Creed, Vice President of Caterpillar’s Oil & Gas and Marine division, said: “Combining Weir Oil & Gas’s established pressure pumping and pressure control portfolio with Cat’s engines and transmissions enables us to create additional value for customers. This acquisition will expand our offerings to one of the broadest product lines in the well service industry.”