3i in $40m oil deal

The firm’s Aberdeen office has invested in Petrofac, a US engineering business and service provider to the oil and gas industry.

The Aberdeen office of 3i, which is a leader in European oil and gas related private equity investment, has invested $40m in Petrofac, an international companies with over 1,000 employees focused on surface facilities for the oil and gas production, processing and refining industries.

Petrofac, which operates in the US, the Middle East and Britain, specializes in engineering, procurement and construction in oil and gas as well as relevant facilities management. In addition, it will involve itself in projects as a provider of capital in return for equity participation.

Petrofac is forecasting $450m in sales for 2001 and, with 3i as a first external investor on board, projects to grow the business organically to double operating profit by 2004.

3i’s investment in the group coincides with a first equity project for Petrofac, a $1bn gas field development in Algeria which is also funded by BHP, Sonatrach, Japan National Oil Company and Woodside Petroleum.

3i’s Aberdeen office, run by Graeme Sword, manages a $500m portfolio and has long had a firm grip on deal flow in the sector.