Oilfield services business Dominion Gas has been sold to Praxair through a transaction which nets exiting investor Graphite Capital a 2.3x return.
Dominion Gas, which has bases in the UK as well as wider Europe, Asia and Africa, supplies specialist gases, gas cylinders, chemicals and tanks to offshore oil and gas customers.
Graphite Capital initially became involved with Dominion Gas when it backed a management buy-out at the business in 2007. It then went on to fund organic and acquisition-led growth which saw the purchases of Global Gas Supplies later in the year and Argon Isotank in 2008.
Despite Praxair entering as its parent company, Praxair chief executive Russel Davis and finance director Neil Potter will remain at the business.
Davies comments, ‘The outlook for the oil and gas markets remains positive. We are confident that operating as part of a larger industrial gas group will help Dominion grow further while continuing to provide market-leading products and services to our customers.’
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The exit for Graphite Capital is its second of 2013, and fourth during the last 12 months. In October 2012 it sold NES Global Talent for £234 million to AEA Investors and has since gone on to dispose of TileCo Group and Optimum Care.
Mark Innes, senior partner at Graphite Capital, adds, ‘With Graphite’s support, the Dominion management team has delivered the buy-out strategy that focused on product range expansion and internationalisation of the group’s operations.
‘This was accelerated through a successful buy-and-build programme. The breadth and scale of Dominion’s operations offered strategic value which attracted the attention or large, multi-national industrial gas groups.’
Graphite Capital has been shortlisted for Private Equity House of the Year and Cross-border Deal of the Year (for the sale of NES Global Talent) at the M&A Awards 2013, hosted by GrowthBusiness.