Two years on from its launch, oil and gas services investor Epi-V is gearing up to harness significant opportunities by strengthening its team and securing the ongoing support of private equity house LDC.
The developments will enable the fund to increase investment in the emerging technology and service innovations which drive crucial efficiencies and generate significant future value to international oil and gas operations.
Launched in September 2007, Epi-V commits between £2million and £10million of equity in each deal and works with management teams to harness its capital experience and contacts to encouraging adoption within the global industry.
Over the past two years the fund has invested in seven businesses from across the UK and Norway which are developing products and services which will help the upstream services sector overcome challenges and pursue new opportunities.
Epi-V has now further boosted its team of specialists with the arrival of industry heavyweight Kevin Forbes who becomes an Investment Partner.
Forbes has over 28 years experience at Schlumberger, the world’s largest oil and gas service provider, where he held senior management positions across the globe including Group Marketing and Technology Manager and President of Integrated Project Management (IPM).
With much of his career focused on the commercialisation and implementation of new technology, Kevin's experience is a perfect fit for Epi-V.
The role will see him use his understanding of market dynamics and technology application to help investee businesses position their products as value drivers for both service businesses and asset holders.
Forbes said, "Throughout my career I've thrived on new challenges and joining Epi-V gives me the opportunity to put my skills and knowledge to use in an exciting entrepreneurial environment.
"There is a huge number of new technologies with significant potential which will require successful companies to be built up around them in order to support effective commercialisation and market penetration.
"Epi-V is unique in that it not only provides firms with the capital required to support this process but also works closely with management to develop the commercial structure required to scale up their business and build significant stakeholder value."
In addition to the appointment of Kevin Forbes, Epi-V has expanded its Corporate Finance team with the recruitment of Tallat Mahmood and Roger Palmer.
The appointments also follow the news that Epi-V's cornerstone institutional backer, LDC, which committed £50million to Epi-V in 2007, has confirmed an extension of funding to support further investments by Epi-V.
Glynn Williams, Managing Partner at Epi-V, said, "We are maturing as a business and Kevin Forbes’s choice to join us sends out a clear signal that Epi-V is a growing force in the industry and one that will make an important contribution to the long-term success of the upstream services sector.
"By complimenting an already diverse team, his knowledge, contacts and industry insight will be of huge benefit to the technology-based entrepreneurial firms we back, businesses that have the potential to have a significant positive impact on the efficiencies oil and gas production.
"Our investee companies will also be able to draw on Kevin's vast experience of selecting, developing and marketing new technologies that reflect forecasted market trends and which ultimately become widely adopted.
"In a downturn operators seek efficiencies, this is an ideal opportunity for companies with disruptive technologies to make inroads.
"LDC’s extended commitment to our investment ethos means that we are well placed to make the most of current market opportunities."
Kevan Leggett, managing director of LDC, said, "Over the past two years Epi-V has established itself as an important source of capital for businesses in a sector where private equity is a valuable means of taking an emerging technology, fully commercialising it and encouraging adoption within a global industry.
"The team is highly experienced in making targeted investments and in working alongside management teams to help deliver their growth plans through enhanced operational performance, financial strength and strategic focus.
"This approach mirrors LDC's approach to investment and we are delighted to have extended our commitment to Epi-V."
Epi-V's current portfolio includes a specialist manufacturer of oil field measurement equipment, two Norwegian businesses, one of which is a developer of advanced drilling tools, and a company created to acquire licences to extract hydrocarbons from surveyed sites across the UK and Europe.
It also invested in Aberdeen-based Brinker Technology, whose technology mimics the process of blood clotting to remotely locate and seal leaks in production and pipeline infrastructure. Brinker recently announced the successful results of multiple trials with Yorkshire Water for the application of its technology in water distribution pipelines.