ITS Group Aces $55MM Investment from Lime Rock Partners

ITS Group, a specialist provider of oilfield equipment and services to the global oil and gas industry, has announced a $55 million equity investment from leading energy-focused private equity firm Lime Rock Partners.

The agreement provides Lime Rock with a minority stake in ITS Group in return for providing growth capital to be used to support the company's growth aspirations as it aims to become a major global player in the oilfield drilling sector.

Bob Kidd, ITS Group executive chairman said, "This is an exciting time for the Group with unprecedented levels of opportunity in a challenging environment. The investment strengthens our balance sheet allowing us to continue investing organically and also to pursue the acquisition opportunities that are prevalent in the current market. Lime Rock Partners has an impressive track record supporting growing companies in the sector."

Lime Rock managing directors Lawrence Ross and Saad Bargach will join the ITS Group Board as non-executive directors to help provide strategic guidance to the company. "I am delighted to welcome Lawrence and Saad to the Board. Their experience and expertise will be hugely beneficial to the Group," added Kidd.

Founded in Aberdeen in 1986 by Mr Kidd, the ITS Group has successfully expanded internationally and today operates with 25 facilities strategically located worldwide and a workforce close to 1,100 employees. The Group provides a wide range of oilfield drilling services to the global energy industry including drilling and pressure control equipment, fishing, casing running and machine shop services.

ITS Group recently announced a strong set of financial results for the year ended December 2008. Turnover increased 47% in 2008 to $143.6 million building on a significant capital investment program. In 2008, the Group invested $62.4 million in plant and equipment, and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA), before one-off costs, increased by 50% to $47.2million. The Group has continued with its programme of investment in 2009, both in infrastructure, people and equipment.

Jeff Corray, ITS Group chief executive officer, said, "Bringing on board an experienced oil and gas investor such as Lime Rock is another key step towards our ambition to become a major global oilfield service company. Private equity revolves around backing people, and I am privileged to work with a first-class team across our Group who not only have a passion and drive for what they do but also have tremendous market knowledge.

"The depth of quality and considerable abilities of our people have enabled this move and position ourselves for the next step-change in the business."

The growth capital investment from Lime Rock Partners marks a continued commitment from the ITS Board of Directors to build on the company's track record of profitable growth and expansion. Lawrence Ross, managing director in Lime Rock Partners' Aberdeen office, said, "Bob Kidd has carefully and courageously pursued his plan to build ITS internationally. He has not only succeeded at that but also opened the door to yet greater growth. Lime Rock is delighted to be working with Bob, Jeff, and their talented management team as we all seek to make ITS into a truly forceful global oilfield services business."


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