Barclays Private Equity makes £75.5m energy play

The European buyout manager of UK bank Barclays has joined the throng of firms looking to profit from the boom time in the oil and gas industy.

Barclays Private Equity, the European mid-market captive firm, has backed the buyout of Hydrasun, a provider of products and services to the oil and gas industry, in a £75.5 million ($154.9 million; €108.2 million) deal.   

Hydrasun is based in Aberdeen with operations throughout the UK and with offices in Holland and Azerbijan supporting client operations both on- and offshore. 

Barclays' investment in the business will support further growth into international development regions for the oil and gas industry including the Caspian Sea and Asia Pacific regions, providing a global service to its clients. 

Oil and gas services are providing fertile ground for buyout firms. Last week, emerging markets buyout firm Actis has bought a 49 percent stake in Pakistani oil and gas IT services company LMKR.

Niche investors such as energy-focussed Riverstone Holdings and Denham Capital Management are recruiting to cope with the growth in opportunities. Riverstone hired former BP executive Ralph Alexander as a managing director, just weeks after recruiting the oil company's former chief executive Lord Browne of Madingly. Alexander will be based in the private equity firm's New York office. Denham and Riverstone have both opened UK offices in the last month.

Rob Myers, a director at Barclays Private Equity said “Developments in the global energy markets are driving companies throughout the industry to have absolute focus on environmental compliance, safety and integrity of operations and reliability of supply.”

Hydrasun's buyout was supported by Barclays Leveraged Finance in Edinburgh who provided senior debt for the acquisition.