3i makes Singaporean oil and gas acquisition(3)

FTSE100-listed 3i has invested in two companies, one the acquisition of a Singapore-based oil and gas company Franklin Offshore, the other a venture funding round into Madrid-based internet sales website BuyVIP.

UK-listed 3i has bought Singapore-based marine and offshore services provider Franklin Offshore for an undisclosed sum. 

Intermediate Capital Group is providing mezzanine financing and investing alongside 3i. Senior figures in the mezzanine industry told PEO yesterday that it is possible buyout firms will increasingly turn to mezz to finance deals, as banks continue to have cold feet in reaction to negative investor sentiment in the debt markets.
Franklin works with oil majors, rig owners, and offshore contractors to provide deepwater mooring products with services and related equipment.

A 3i spokesperson said: “The company has revenues in the hundreds of millions of Singapore dollars and it has had rapid growth over the last three years.” 

The business has been cited by Accenture, the Economic Development Board and the Business Times as one of Singapore’s top 50 most enterprising businesses. 
Richard Lorentz, co-founder of South East Asia-focused exploration and production business Pearl Energy, will join the board as chairman.
3i has previously invested in Lorentz’s business with a portfolio of oil and gas interests across Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines. 

3i listed Pearl on the Singapore Stock Exchange in 2005, and subsequently sold it to Aabar Petroleum.  It also part owns Salamander Energy, an upstream oil and gas exploration and production company focused on South East Asia, floated at the end of last year on the London Stock Exchange with a market capitalisation of $405 million, raising $200 million.

Separately 3i invested €5.75 million ($8 million) in a €7 million second round funding of pan-European e-commerce website BuyVIP.  Other investors included the European Founders Fund, angel investor Michael Kleindl and Molins Capital Inversion.