Candover Sells Aibel to Norwegian Private Equity Fund

A private equity syndicate comprising Candover, 3i and JPMorgan Partners, have sold Aibel to an investor group led by Ferd Private Equity Fund II, a leading Norwegian private equity fund, with debt financing provided by ABN AMRO and DnB NOR, for an enterprise value of $900m (€670m). Completion of the deal, expected in August 2007, is subject to competition and regulatory approvals.

The sale of Aibel, coming after the sale earlier this year of Vetco Gray to GE Oil and Gas for $1.9 billion, completes the exit from Vetco International for the syndicate, which acquired the business in July 2004 from ABB Oil & Gas for $925 million.

Aibel is a leading provider of upstream oil and gas production facilities, process systems, technology, services and products. From new build to decommission, it maintains, modifies and operates on and offshore oil & gas production facilities. The business, which generated approximately US$1.5 billion turnover of sales in 2006, employs more than 7,000 people across 16 countries.

Commenting on the sale, the private equity syndicate said:

"Aibel performed strongly following the exit from sister company Vetco Gray with solid growth in sales and EBITDA. The sale of Aibel and Vetco Gray has generated an impressive return in just under three years. Aibel is an exceptional business, which should continue to prosper as an independent entity under the leadership of Rasmus Sunde and new owners led by Ferd Private Equity Fund II. We wish the management and staff at Aibel every success."

Peter Goode, Executive Chairman of Aibel, said:

"The sector of the market in which Aibel participates is forecast for continued strong growth. The Company is well positioned in this market and will provide the new owners with a strong platform to participate in this growth. I remain confident of the future for the company and employees."

Advisors were Credit Suisse and DnB Nor Markets (M&A), Clifford Chance (legal) and Deloitte (financial).

The sale of Aibel results in an increase of 16p per share (unaudited) in the net asset value of Candover Investments plc.