Eyeing Brazil as central to South America's oil-and-gas expansion in the next five years, London-based global engineer-project manager AMEC said Sept. 19 that it has agreed to invest $12 million to acquire a 50% stake in Kromav Engenharia Ltda (KROMAV), a large Rio de Janeiro-based engineer active in offshore work in the sector.

The firm, founded in 1996, has more than 200 people employees and specializes in offshore platforms and related marine work, with customers it says includes major EPC firms and Brazilian oil company Petrobras.

AMEC says it has revenue of $5.3 billion and has been involved in 50 major global offshore floating oil and gas projects.

The deal is set to close later this year.

AMEC did not release KROMAV's latest revenue figures but tells ENR that Andy Sallis, AMEC president of oil & gas Americas and Osvaldo Capmany, director of oil and gas operations for Brazil & Latin America will join the local firm's board.

The company will be called AMEC KROMAV.

AMEC tells ENR that   "there is an option to buy out the partners at some point; however, we are not obliged to do this."

The acquisition "provides immediate presence in Brazil to serve the largest offshore deepwater market in the world where Brazil represents 75% of the oil-and-gas Capex investment in the next 5 years in South America," says an AMEC spokeswoman.

She adds that "the market needs further choice with regard to integrated upstream engineering companies to realize/deliver the forecasted current/future projects. This acquisition provides a platform /starting point to develop a fully integrated engineering services company in Brazil ."

The acquisition adds to AMEC’s presence in Brazil, which includes existing offices In São Paulo and Belo Horizonte to serve the pulp & paper and mining industries.