A recently formed subsea services business based in Aberdeen and Houston has secured a private equity investment to acquire a fleet of 32 remotely operated vehicles (ROVs).
The recently-established M² Subsea Limited has attracted the investment from a fund advised by Alchemy Special Opportunities, and is now set to become one of the largest independent providers of ROV services globally and offer its customers solutions for inspection, repair, maintenance, decommissioning and light construction.
Heading up the business is Mike Arnold, who brings 35 years’ experience in the subsea industry as original founder of Rovtech as well as Hallin Marine UK and Bibby Offshore’s ROV services unit. He is joined by a management team of other subsea veterans including Mark Wood and Mike Winstanley.
“The time is absolutely right for a new ROV services provider with a fresh approach that can, through experience, expertise, the correct asset base and lean management, dramatically reduce both cost and risk whilst continuing to provide a professional and quality service,” Arnold said. “Key to this will be the company’s collaboration with vessel owners and operators, helping them to maximize utilization of vessels and offering competitive solutions to meet our clients’ demands.”
M² Subsea said it expects to create at least 50 onshore and 100 offshore jobs operating primarily in the North Sea, Gulf of Mexico, West Africa and eventually Asia Pacific and the Middle-East by the end of 2017.
Meet the M² Subsea Leadership Team
Mike Arnold – President and CEO: Arnold has 35 years’ experience in subsea operations, having held senior positions over the last 25 years as Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer in startups and existing companies.
As Chief Operating Officer with Bibby Offshore, Arnold was responsible for international business and emerging markets (West Africa, Caspian, Norway), the U.S. and Asia region, while maintaining the group responsibility for ROV services.
Prior to that, Arnold was the founder and Managing Director of Bibby Remote Intervention. He was instrumental in the formation of the company who were a leading provider of vessel-based IMR services focusing on ROV, inspection, survey and remote intervention.
Previous to that, he was with Hallin Marine Plc where he formed Hallin Marine UK Limited. He played an integral role in the rapid, controlled expansion of Hallin until its eventual sale to Superior Energy Services Inc. in 2010.
In 1986, he founded Rovtech Ltd, which became a global provider of vessel-based IRM as well as ROV survey and inspection services.
Arnold began his career as a trainee ROV pilot technician with Subsea Surveys and spent almost a decade offshore in various roles including ROV pilot, supervisor and offshore manager on all types of remote intervention, survey and subsea inspection and construction projects in Europe, West Africa, Russia, Asia, the Middle-East, China and Brazil.
Mark Wood – Operations Director: Wood has 25 years’ experience in the subsea industry, predominantly focused around ROVs and related technology with eight years in Director level positions.
With a BSc degree in Electronic and Electrical Engineering, Wood worked offshore as an ROV operator for the first nine years of his career, progressing from a trainee ROV Pilot through to a vessel superintendent with responsibility for the safe delivery of offshore projects.
In 2000 he joined Rovtech’s Aberdeen office as Project Manager and after only 18 months in that position was promoted and relocated to Singapore as South East Asia Operations Manager.
In 2006 Mark joined Hallin Marine UK Ltd to develop an ROV delivery company operating globally.
Wood joined Bibby Remote Intervention Ltd (BRIL) in 2012. After the BRIL/BOL merger, he was appointed Managing Director of Remote Support Services, which was the internal service provision arm of Bibby Offshore for ROV, survey, inspection and tooling services.
Mike Winstanley – Business Development Director: Winstanley has over 33 years’ experience in the subsea industry, with an ROV focus in both the commercial and military sectors. After eight years in logistical support positions onshore and offshore, he moved into business development with Bergen Underwater Services, promoting the use of their ROV and survey fleet around the North Sea.
In the ’80s, he held various business development roles with Subsea Services (Divex part of JW Fisher) promoting diving equipment throughout Europe and Scandinavia and latterly with Bennico (now a division of Forum) promoting the sale of Perry and Robertson ROVs.
In 1990, he founded Bowtech Products with his partner, building the company to a globally recognized designer and manufacturer of vision and communication systems for predominantly commercial ROV use. Winstanley led the company to become the world’s largest supplier of underwater lighting for ROVs and a leader in subsea camera solutions for commercial and military ROV, submarine, diver, research and broadcast applications. The business was acquired by Teledyne in 2014.