Graphite buys add-on gas supplier

The UK mid-market firm has invested in the platform gas business it bought in June, taking total financing to more than £50m with the acqusition of Global Gas Supplies.

UK mid-market firm Graphite Capital has backed the £22 million acquisition by portfolio company Dominion Gas of Global Gas Supplies. The deal is the first step in the international expansion strategy outlined in June when Graphite backed the management buyout of the industrial gases supplier.

Global Gas, which was founded by Keith Pirie, is a supplier of diving gases to the oil and gas industry.  The acquisition increases the group’s international coverage as a result of Global’s strong presence in Azerbaijan, Singapore and West Africa.  The merger increases the group’s global workforce from 52 to 70.

Funding for the deal includes equity from Graphite and debt facilities from RBS Structured Finance, Aberdeen, and takes total financing to more than £50 million since the original buyout. 

Anne Hoffmann, a Graphite Capital partner, said: “We said at the buy-out that we would work with the team to exploit Dominion’s strengths and grow the business internationally. The acquisition of Global Gas Supplies creates an even better platform for further expansion.”

Pirie is rolling over a proportion of his proceeds from the deal to become a shareholder and joins the Dominion board as international sales and business director.

Hoffmann, Mike Innes and Kane Bayliss managed the transaction for Graphite. Euan Leask, John Heiton and Mike Willett managed the transaction for RBS Structured Finance, Aberdeen.