Aberdeen-based Ramco has strengthened its position as the North Sea's leading provider of tubular services with the acquisition of Norwegian-owned Pipetech International.

The multi-million pound deal follows the £30 million investment in a secondary buy-out of the business by Lloyds Bank's midmarket private equity arm LDC.

Ramco Tubular Services, survivor of the oil services business founded by entrepreneur Steve Remp in 1977, is a major player in the UK and Norwegian sectors of the North Sea and has operations in China, Japan and Romania. It employs 150 across the group in the storage, management, cleaning and preparation of pipe used in oil and gas wells, while Pipetech's Norwegian operation employs around 15 supplying water-based cleaning technologies.

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Pipetech will now establish a permanent presence in the UK and look to grow its offshore business.

Malcolm Edwards, chief executive, said LDC had brought expertise and financial firepower. He added: "There is more opportunity in the pipe business, that is where we would see ourselves diversifying."

The acquisition was funded by a combination of further investment from management and LDC, with additional debt from Clydesdale Bank.