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Graphite Capital backs ICR MBO

Graphite Capital, a UK mid-market private equity specialist, has backed the management buy-out (MBO) of ICR, which provides repair and maintenance services to the global energy industry.

ICR comprises four businesses that mainly operate in the UK and Middle East energy markets.
Walker Technical is a specialist in composite repairs to pipework and structures for oil and gas customers. NECE provides corrosion monitoring, oilfield microbiology, chemical monitoring and consultancy services to offshore operators. MOSS is a mechanical services provider. CIU provides specialist rental, sales, repair and maintenance services for chemical pumping units used in the international oil and gas market.
The group’s head office is in Aberdeen and its Middle East operations are run from Dubai.
In the past three years, ICR has achieved strong growth with turnover rising to over GBP30m.
ICR has identified opportunities for new product development, UK onshore expansion and further international growth. The company also expects to continue its bolt-on acquisition strategy. 
Graphite is acquiring a majority stake in the business through its equity investment, with debt funding provided by HSBC and RBS. The senior management team, led by chief executive Willie Rennie, will continue to run the business and have reinvested a substantial amount of their sale proceeds.
Graphite has a track record of investing in the oil and gas services sector. In May last year, it sold the Aberdeen-based oilfield services company Dominion Gas for 2.3 times cost to Praxair for around GBP100m. In 2012, it sold NES Global Talent, the international provider of specialist engineers to the oil and gas industry, to AEA Investors for GBP234m, achieving 4.7 times cost.
Rennie says: “Global oilfield operating expenditure is forecast to increase strongly over the coming years and there are opportunities for us to accelerate our growth. With its wide-ranging experience in our market, Graphite is the ideal partner to help us exploit this potential.”
Mike Innes, Graphite senior partner, says: “ICR’s experienced management team has created a fast-growing group that is well placed in attractive markets. The oil and gas services sector is one we know well and we look forward to working with the team.”

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