3i generates 26% IRR on Rovtech sale

The sale of Rovtech, a supplier of remotely operated vehicles to the oil and gas industry, has generated an IRR of 26.5% for 3i, which originally invested in the business in 1996.

3i, a global private equity firm, has sold Rovtech, an Aberdeen-based supplier of remotely operated vehicles to the oil and gas industry, for £34.5 million (€51 million).

Fugro, a Dutch oilfield services company, has bought Rovtech and will merge the business with Fugro Survey, a provider of remotely-operated vehicle construction support, international drill support and subsea engineering services, also based in Aberdeen.

Following completion of the deal, Rovtech will be renamed Fugro-Rovtech, with Rovtech management expected to continue in the new business.

3i originally acquired a 28.5 percent stake in Rovtech in 1996. The sale to Fugro generated a 26.5 percent IRR on 3i’s original investment.

Founded in 1987 by Mike Arnold, Rovtech has 34 remotely operated vehicles operating in the North Sea, the Caspian Sea and in South East Asia. The company has 120 employees and approximately £25 million in revenues.

Fugro Survey operates drill support and field support operations in North and West Africa from its Aberdeen base and a turnover of approximately £60 million and 370 employees.

The Rovtech disposal follows two other exits from oil and gas companies for 3i in the last month. In August, 3i sold Specialised Petroleum Services, a Scottish provider of wellbore clean-up products and services, to US-based M-I Swaco in a $165 million sale. In the same week, 3i sold CH4 Energy, a UK energy and power company, to listed oil and gas producer Venture Productions for €224 million, generating a 7.3 times multiple and an IRR of 105 percent.