By TERENI KENS
PAPUA NEW GUINEA'S market leader in Human Resources consultancy, Pacifica HR has been bought by a Manchester -based recruitment firm Air Energi.
The acquisition will enable the two companies to venture into providing recruitment services for contractors such as engineers, design and technical specialists and managers for projects for clients such as the ExxonMobil's multi-billion PNG LNG and the existing BP and Shell companies in the country.
This follows last year's announcement by Air Energi Group for the signing of an operational alliance agreement with Pacifica HR. The alliance was formed to support upcoming resources projects in PNG.
In the new merger some of the services that they will be offering include expatriate and local recruitment, visa and work permits, local payroll and tax, airport meet and greet, security, accommodation and local transport.
Pacifica has 15 employees in Port Moresby and said it is confident that it will provide the Manchester-based company with a springboard to supply energy companies aiming to tap liquefied natural gas in the country.
The two companies did not disclose how much was the buy but said together they will provide a service-driven product to the multi-billion kina projects due to be completed in the region over the next decade and beyond.
Air Energi, headed by chairman Ian Langley and chief executive Duncan Gregson, is also opening a branch in Yokohama, Japan, which is also aimed at supplying engineering staff to major LNG projects.
The United Kingdom (UK) company part owned by private equity firm Zeus, said in a statement it is projecting a turnover of £160m this year and a profit of £6.1m.
The firm is eyeing revenues of £200m within five years.
The company employs around 175 staff worldwide and the Pacifica acquisition adds around 15 employees.
Air Energi stands to benefit from increased interest in producing liquefied natural gas.
Mr Langley said: "Some of our major clients have announced plans to build world-scale LNG facilities in Papua New Guinea. Estimated capital expenditure there over the next decade is at least $20bn. There are some tremendous opportunities for us there."