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OCB Oilfield Services acquires 100% of Kuiper International

Acquisition leverages significant synergies and strengthens OCB’s competitive positioning in the offshore oil and gas manpower services sector

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Gulf Capital, one of the leading alternative investment firms in the Middle East, announced today that its portfolio company OCB Oilfield Services, has acquired 100 percent of Kuiper International Pte LTD, a dominant player in the offshore construction and maintenance services sector, with a particular stronghold in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region and Australia.

The Kuiper deal represents the fourth bolt-on acquisition in Asia Pacific for a Gulf Capital portfolio company and almost doubles the size of OCB and extends both its geographical coverage as well as its service offerings to its client base. The OCB investment demonstrates Gulf Capital’s ability to work with successful regional businesses and to grow them internationally, either organically or via acquisitions. Gulf Capital has developed a track record of building global companies in sectors such as oil and gas services, power, water and desalination and the wholesale travel market. Besides scale, the combined OCB and Kuiper businesses will lead to significant diversification in customer base, service capabilities and geographical coverage.

Dr. Karim El Solh, Chief Executive Officer of Gulf Capital which is marking its 10th Anniversary this year, said: “This deal represents another milestone for Gulf Capital and OCB. This latest bolt-on acquisition cements our track record in partnering with great management teams and building global platforms. OCB, by acquiring 100% of Kuiper, is expanding rapidly across Asia Pacific and Australia and firmly positioning itself as a global leader in its sector.”

OCB, which was launched in 1999, delivers end-to-end crew management solutions to the oil and gas industry, enabling vessel owners and operators to focus on their core operation. The company’s projects cover expansive and diverse geographies, with a strong concentration in the Middle East, South East Asia and the Indian Sub-Continent. OCB’s specialised crew, spanning a database of over 7,000 candidates, work for global drilling contractors operating vessels in shallow and deep waters. This latest acquisition gives the company a stronger foothold in the fast-growing APAC region and Australia, complementing its existing offering and cementing its solid leadership position.

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Kuiper International, which was established in 2010 and is headquartered in Singapore, is a provider of personnel and technical support services to offshore oil and gas construction and maintenance sectors, including the provision of short-term and long-term blue-collar and white-collar employees, payroll services and logistics coordination. In 2012, Kuiper Australia was established as a subsidiary, focusing on Australia.

Richard Dallas, Managing Director, Private Equity at Gulf Capital, commented: “Over the last year, the investment team has worked hard, in partnership with OCB’s management, to identify the right opportunities to de-risk OCB’s revenue base in terms of clients, services and geographies. We are thrilled to announce the Kuiper transaction. With this single transaction, OCB not only gains entry into new geographies, but also extends its services to new sub-sectors such as production and construction. Kuiper also enjoys strong relationships with blue-chip clients in the offshore construction segment, with minimal overlap to OCB’s existing client database. In a nutshell, this acquisition accelerates results that would have taken OCB many years to achieve organically.”

George Gourlay, Chief Executive Officer of OCB said: “The Kuiper acquisition is key to both our growth and diversification strategies. It is in line with our plans of complementing our growth by carrying out strategic acquisitions in different sectors of our industry. The Kuiper business model of providing complete crews to the construction sector of the oil and gas industry moulds well with that of OCB’s ‘Total Management Basis’ which is provided to drilling contractors in oil and gas. OCB’s current geographic reach is a direct reflection of its crew database, which is roughly 90% Indian-origin. With this acquisition, we not only add scale to our crew database with nearly 2,000 new names, but we also diversify the crew composition with a higher proportion of Malaysian, Indonesian, Filipino, Australian and expatriate crew. This allows us to tap into many more markets, like the APAC region.”

Tarek Mounib, Executive Director, Private Equity at Gulf Capital, concluded: “Kuiper, combined with OCB, strengthens the collective group’s offering and allows it to realise significant economies of scale. We are very excited to assist OCB in its global growth phase and look forward to expanding into further geographies.”

Gulf Capital and OCB were advised by Ernst & Young and Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. Transaction funding was provided by Mashreq Bank.

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