Ratos, AP, Ferd seal $1.5bn deal for oil and gas services company Aibel


Swedish private equity firm Ratos has teamed up with the Swedish National Pension Fund and Norwegian conglomerate Ferd to buy energy services company Aibel from Herkules Capital for NOK8.6bn ($1.5bn).

Ratos will provide about NOK1.4bn ($250m) for 32 per cent of Aibel through the deal, the Sixth AP Fund will hold 18 per cent and Ferd 50 per cent.

Herkules was formerly Ferd’s private equity arm, but spun out in 2008 to become and independent firm.

Aible, a Norwegian oil, gas and renewable energy services company, had sales of more than NOK10bn this year with an EBITDA margin of about nine per cent.

It employs about 8,000 people in operations such as maintenance and platform construction along the Norwegian coast and in Asia.

Ratos CEO Susanna Campbell said, “Aibel operates in a market with strong growth, has long-term customer relationships, a unique business model, a strong order book and a dedicated management team, which makes this a very attractive investment for Ratos.

“We have monitored the industry and Aibel for several years and are therefore very pleased to have this opportunity to develop the company together with Ferd.

“We see co-ownership with Ferd as a clear strength in this deal and hope that we can co-operate even more in the future.”

Ratos made the purchase through a joint vehicle with the Sixth AP Fund.

Ferd currently owns 80 per cent of Aibel directly and via its investment in Herkules Private Equity Fund II.

Herkules managing partner Gert Munthe said, “Through the acquisition of Aibel in 2007 we helped to bring the company back into Norwegian hands.

“Our investment in Aibel has been successful, and we are proud of the company’s performance following the extremely successful turnaround operation carried out in 2008/ 2009.

“We are very pleased with Aibel’s new ownership structure, and wish the company every success with its exciting future development.”

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