Plexus Holdings Plc, owner of the proprietary POS-GRIP® friction grip method of wellhead engineering, was advised by City law firm Fox Williams in connection with the sale of its wellhead exploration and services business for jack-up applications for up to £42.5million to a subsidiary of TechnipFMC, one of the leading oil and gas service and equipment companies in the world with a market capitalisation of approximately US$12.5 billion and over 40,000 employees (ParisFTI) (NYSE:FTI).

The conditional sale was announced on 19 October 2017. The sale is deemed to constitute a fundamental change of business pursuant to Rule 15 of the AIM rules, and is therefore also conditional on the consent of Plexus shareholders being obtained at general meeting.

The disposal of the exploration jack-up business is in line with Plexus’ strategy to increase industry awareness of its POS-GRIP friction grip technology as it can now focus on the larger market sectors such as surface production and subsea. The board of Plexus believes that the disposal represents a significant milestone for the company.

Plexus and TechnipFMC will also be entering into a collaboration agreement which establishes a framework to work together both on the development of existing POS-GRIP IP for oil and gas applications outside of jack-up exploration, as well as on future new technologies.

Paul Osborne, lead partner on the business sale, led the advisory team and was assisted by a team consisting of partner Guy Morgan (capital markets), legal director Sean Williams (corporate), associate Sarah Carlton (corporate), partner Nigel Miller (intellectual property), associate Laura Monro (intellectual property), partner Mark Watson (employment) and associate Daisy Jones (employment).

Plexus chief executive, Ben Van Bilderbeek, said “We are pleased to announce this important transaction with TechnipFMC, one of the world’s foremost oil and gas service companies. I believe that the disposal and collaboration agreement with TechnipFMC opens up new opportunities for our technology. The team at Fox Williams have yet again provided invaluable support throughout this transaction following many years of acting as our trusted legal advisors.”

Paul Osborne, Senior Partner of Fox Williams, said: “We are delighted that Plexus have successfully exchanged on the sale of the jack-up exploration application part of its business. Fox Williams has worked closely with Plexus over the past eight years and this transaction represents a key milestone in the Company’s evolution.”

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