Avista invests $100m to help fund energy acquisition

US private equity firm Avista Capital Partners announced its $100m investment in seismic technology provider Geokinetics, to help finance the company’s $125m acquisition of its oil-exploration rival Grant Geophysical.

Avista Capital Partners, an energy-focused private equity fund founded last year by former DLJ Merchant Banking head Thompson Dean and 15 of his colleagues, announced its latest energy investment: a $100 million (€78.7 million) investment in oil exploration technology provider Geokinetics, so that the company can acquire its competitor, Grant Geophysical.

Both companies provide three-dimensional seismic acquisition and data-processing services for the oil exploration industry. As a result of the acquisition, Geokinetics will become one of the largest land, transition zone and shallow water seismic acquisition companies in the world. 

The investment was made in the form of a $50 million senior bridge note, to be redeemed upon securing permanent debt financing, and a $50 million subordinated note, to be exchanged for convertible preferred stock after redemption of the original bridge note. 

This past May, Avista announced a $50 million (€39.3 million) investment in London-based Celtique Energie to fund oil exploration in Europe and Africa.