3i to Invest in Deepwater Mooring Specialist Franklin Offshore

3i has decided to invest in Singapore-based Franklin Offshore, a rapidly growing service provider to the offshore and marine industries. Intermediate Capital Group, a leading mezzanine capital investor, is providing mezzanine financing and investing alongside 3i.

Franklin works closely with oil majors, rig owners, and offshore contractors to design, manufacture, certify and manage a range of deepwater mooring products and services and related equipment. The company has grown from its origins in South East Asia and now has a global presence spanning the Middle East, US, UK and Azerbaijan. The business, renowned for its quality service, was recently recognized by Accenture, the Economic Development Board, and the Business Times as one of Singapore's top 50 most enterprising businesses.

Announcing the partnership with 3i, Angie Tang, CEO of Franklin said, "3i is uniquely placed to partner with us given the combination of its energy sector experience and local presence in Singapore. We are delighted to be partnering with 3i and look forward to achieving our ambition of becoming a leading service provider to contractors and oil companies through continued geographic and product growth."

Commenting on the transaction, Mr. John Thomson, Director, 3i Singapore said, "Franklin is a market leading business, with an outstanding reputation amongst its customers for quality and service and robust growth potential. We have drawn on expertise from our team in Singapore and our global Oil, Gas & Power team whose market insight and networks will be invaluable to Franklin. The company operates in a high growth market and we look forward to assisting the business in fully capturing this opportunity."

3i will work with the current management team to identify and introduce additional management expertise to the business and to support the business in becoming a regional champion and service provider through its established relationships both regionally and internationally. Richard Lorentz, co-founder of Pearl Energy, will be joining the Board as Chairman. Richard Lorentz commented, "I am delighted to be working with the 3i team again and in particular Franklin Offshore. Franklin is a solid well managed company with tremendous growth potential, and the new partnership with 3i will allow the management team to capitalize on the growth in the industry. The 3i people really understand our sector through their extensive oil & gas expertise and added significant value to Pearl Energy during its partnership with the company. Likewise, I see their participation with Franklin Offshore, while working intensively with the management team, as a real positive step toward preparing the company for a listing on the Singapore Stock Exchange."

3i's investment in Franklin is its third energy-related investment in the region. 3i previously invested in South East Asia-focused Pearl Energy, an independent exploration and production business with a portfolio of oil and gas interests across Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines. Pearl Energy was listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange in 2005, and subsequently sold to Aabar Petroleum. 3i portfolio company Salamander Energy plc, an upstream oil and gas exploration and production company focused on South East Asia, floated at the end of last year on the London Stock Exchange with a market capitalization of $405m, raising $200m.