General Electric is to buy UK oil and gas services group Wellstream Holdings for £785m. After two earlier rejections, Wellstream – which employs more than 850 people – yesterday finally accepted the US giant's increased bid of 780p per share plus a £6m special dividend for Wellstream shareholders. The group will be integrated into GE's existing Oil & Gas division, which focuses on surface and sub-sea drilling systems. Wellstream is one of the world's largest makers of flexible pipes for the oil industry. GE was also attracted by its strong presence in Brazil, which is a fast-growing market helped by a slew of discoveries in the Santos Basin. GE was not the only company sniffing around Wellstream. Rivals bidders for the UK group included National Oilwell Varco.
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