Published: Dec 16, 2009
Focus: Growth Capital
Maven Capital Partners has backed a management buy-in at Aberdeen-based Electro-Flow Controls.
In a £10 million deal, Maven alongside Simmons Parallel Energy Fund has bought into the fast-growing specialist controls business, with the Clydesdale Bank providing banking facilities.
The new management team will be led by Bob Will who will bring his complementary business, Celeris, also backed by Maven and Simmons Parallel Energy, together with Electro-Flow Controls to provide advanced controls and mechanical handling solutions to the global energy industry.
With over 30 years experience in the oil and gas industry, Mr Will has held senior management positions with Schlumberger, Expro, and RBG Ltd said: “Electro-Flow Controls is a great business that has become a niche market leader within the controls and instrumention sector of the global oil and gas industry.
“With the increasing demand for rig and vessel up-grades there is huge potential for further growth. The combination of Celeris and Electo-Flow Controls offers a springboard to the next level of integrated electrical and mechanical solutions to this expanding market.”
Established in 1988, Electro-Flow Controls designs, manufactures, installs and commissions a range of control, monitoring and instrumentation systems for the global oil and gas industry. The company employs 62 people in Aberdeen and Houston, all of whom will be retained by the new management.
Former owner and major shareholder, John Wheeler, will also remain with the company as a consultant to help drive the international growth which will focus on South America and South-east Asia.
Mr Wheeler commented: “In the last five years, Electro Flow Controls has seen significant growth and I am delighted that Bob along with Maven and Simmons Parallel Energy have invested in its future. This investment and new impetus will ensure that we can fully exploit the undoubted potential.”
Electro-Flow Controls’ sales director, Ted Littlechild will also continue in his role. He added: “I’m thoroughly looking forward to working with the new team to deliver the accelerated growth we anticipate from the enhanced product offerings and geographic exposure.”
Jock Gardiner, Maven partner in Aberdeen, led the deal. He said: “Maven continue to be very active investors with this, our third energy service sector investment since our formation earlier this year. The capital we are providing will help accelerate the growth plans, particularly internationally. We are looking forward to working with Bob and to fulfil the ambitions of the management team and our investors.“
This deal marks the first investment for Simmons Parallel Energy. Frank Summers, Head of Simmons Parallel Energy said: “We are delighted that the first investment from our new co-investment fund is backing Bob and investing in a high quality company in Electro Flow Controls, which is a robust business with a very bright future in a growing global market”.
Clydesdale Bank is providing £4.5 million of banking facilities to the new management team. Ian McNeill, director, corporate & structured finance said: “We are very pleased to be supporting Bob and his team in the acquisition of an already successful and internationally respected company and are looking forward to helping them exploit the undoubted potential”.
Simmons Parallel Energy is a private equity fund established to make minority co-investments, typically of £2 million to £5 million, across the energy sector. Investing predominantly in established businesses across a broad value range, Simmons Parallel Energy brings 35 years of energy investment banking experience and an extensive network from its parent Simmons & Company International and aims to use this to the benefit of investee companies and investment partners.
Maven provides equity finance for established and entrepreneurial businesses, where the enterprise value is between £5 million and £25 million. They support management buy-outs and buy-ins, acquisitions, expansion or buy and build strategies, typically providing equity finance of £1 million up to £6 million.