Friday, June 13, 2008

Mainers finding opportunities in oil

[information about Flotation Tech comes from this morning's Portland Press Herald, including staff photo by Jack Milton]

There have been a rash of stories about how escalating energy costs are hurting Mainers. In economics, there are always winners, as well as losers. We might be paying more at the pump, but if you have a 401K, or other investment vehicle, you might be benefitting from oil stocks, if you're invested in that sector.

Biddeford's Flotation Technologies Inc. was recently acquired by Deep Down Inc., a Texas-based company involved in ultra deep, off-shore oil drilling.

Deep Down Inc. has been on an acquisition tear over the past year, acquiring Flotation Tech and two other companies that make products for the ultra-deepwater offshore oil drilling market.

The Biddeford company makes a variety of high-tech flotation devices that can survive the super pressures of the deep sea and provide buoyancy to drilling pipelines and other equipment, relieving stress.

Flotation Tech had revenues of $13 million last year, double the year before. Robert E. Chamberlain Jr., Deep Down’s chairman of the board and chief acquisition officer, said he believes the product lines from each of the three acquisitions – including Flotation Tech – could grow to $100 million in revenue in the next three to five years.

Deep Down has no plans to move the business out of Maine, said Chamberlain.

“We’re going to leave it in Maine, expand it in Maine. We’re quite happy with the way the business is being run, and we believe through our relationships we can significantly increase the level of business there,” said Chamberlain.

For Flotation Tech, its acquisition for $23.3 million in a stock deal was the latest step in a structured plan.

You can read the entire article here.

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