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Industrial Growth Partners exits oil and gas testing company O’Brien for $175m.

27 Jan 2012

San Francisco-based private equity firm Industrial Growth Partners has completed the sale of oil and gas testing company O’Brien Corporation to electric instruments manufacturer AMETEK, for approximately $175m.

O’Brien, headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, supplies both standard and custom-designed testing solutions to applications across some of the world’s largest end segments, including the oil and gas production, refining, petrochemical, power generation, pharmaceutical and semiconductor markets.

IGP, together with the company’s existing shareholder, members of the management team and certain outside investors, purchased a controlling interest in the Company in January 2009. During the firm’s ownership, the company established a local manufacturing facility in China, and expanded its product offering into the upstream oil and gas market. In addition, O’Brien completed the add-on acquisition of Universal Analyzers, a manufacturer of gas sample conditioning equipment.

Dave Smith, president of O’Brien, said, “IGP’s support of our company as it transitioned from a family-owned business to an institutionally-backed enterprise was crucial. They were an ideal partner as we went through the process of expanding aggressively overseas, particularly in China, and also in supporting new product development to enter the offshore oil and gas market.

“Ultimately, these initiatives enabled us to more than double revenue from 2009 to 2011,” he added.

IGP, founded in 1997, has $1.3bn of capital under management. The firm invests in mid-market companies in the manufacturing sector.

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