Castle Harlan Completes Purchase of Anchor Drilling Fluids USA

Castle Harlan, Inc., the New York private equity investment firm, has completed its purchase of Anchor Drilling Fluids USA, Inc., the nation's largest independent provider of drilling fluids and fluid-handling services for onshore oil and gas drilling. The transaction was valued at approximately $250 million.

Anchor, based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, has more than 20 operating facilities stretching across eight states from Texas to Wyoming. Anchor focuses on providing proprietary drilling fluid blends and customized engineering services to complex onshore drilling operations in many of the fastest growing drilling regions in the United States.

William Pruellage, the Castle Harlan managing director who led the firm's acquisition team, expressed confidence that Anchor will continue to show solid growth in the future. "The company has an experienced management team with strong customer relationships and a growing position in the most active onshore oil and natural gas regions in the country," he said.

Castle Harlan said that Bob West, Anchor's chief executive officer, his son Phil West, the president and chief operating officer, and other members of senior management will continue to hold a significant equity interest in the company.

Anchor had been a portfolio company of American Capital Strategies, Ltd., a private equity firm based in Bethesda, Maryland.

Castle Harlan has owned a number of companies in the energy industry over the years, including:

-- RathGibson, a leading manufacturer of highly engineered premium stainless steel and alloy welded tubular products used in oil and gas drilling, among other applications

-- Universal Compression, one of the world's largest providers of natural gas compression equipment and services

-- Statia, a global leader among independent marine terminal companies

-- US Synthetic, the world's largest independent manufacturer of synthetic diamonds used in oil and gas drill bits