Global energy services company Weatherford International Plc isn’t necessarily chasing scale through M&A deals. The company’s focus is more on how it can integrate assets and companies it acquires, the company’s President and CEO Girish Saligram said during the Irish company’s first-quarter 2024 webcast.

“For us, integration is still the primary thing. We want to make sure that anything that we do, regardless of size or scale, we have the bandwidth and capacity to integrate because sometimes whether it is a $30 million-dollar company or a $3 billion-dollar company, a lot of the stuff is similar,” Saligram said April 24 in response to an analysts’ question.

Saligram said Weatherford is not looking to pursue a specific size, but if something makes sense for the company.

“We really look at it from a perspective of strategic fit, margin accretion, cash generation, the deleveraging component and where can we really add value to that business to scale it and grow it,” he said.

In February 2024, Weatherford entered into merger agreements to acquire ISI Holding Co. LLC and Probe Technologies Holdings Inc. to strengthen its existing wireline business within its drilling and evaluation (DRE) business segment, according to Securities and Exchange Commission filings.

Houston-based Weatherford’s DRE services range from early well planning to reservoir management optimizing reservoir access and productivity, according to the company.

Favorable sector landscape

Saligram said his company continued to see growth in energy demand, despite macroeconomic volatility and geopolitical conflicts. In particular, Weatherford highlighted international and offshore activity, which the company said propped up demand and offset softness in the North American market.

“We’ve always maintained that gas is a really important part of the energy mix and we don’t see that changing at any point,” Saligram said. “Even with depressed gas prices that you see in North America, that will eventually resolve itself and get back to a healthier level, but across the world we think this is going to be something that will drive both LNG growth as well as local infrastructure and ultimately it is going to drive more gas production.”

Gas remains an important focus for Weatherford—a lot of the solutions the company is technologically driving are focused on it, Saligram said. 

Financially, Weatherford reported first-quarter 2024 net income of $112 million, down 20% compared to fourth-quarter 2023 — but up 56% compared to first-quarter 2023. Adjusted EBITDA was $336 million in the first quarter of 2024, up 5% sequentially and up 25% year-over-year.

“Year-over-year Middle East, North Africa and Asia growth of 32% and strong offshore activity reaffirms the thesis on cycle longevity,” Weatherford reported in its press release, citing a comment from Saligram. “At the same time, nine consecutive quarters of sequential adjusted EBITDA margin expansion highlights our ability to deliver continuously improving operating performance.”