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Gresham nets 4x on energy services business

The firm will sell ICR Integrity for between £80m and £100m.

UK lower mid-market firm Gresham Private Equity will sell energy services group ICR Integrity to UK-based mid-market firm Graphite Capital, according to a statement.

Gresham declined to disclose financial details or a return multiple for the deal, but a market source said the exit will generate a 4x return multiple, and the business was sold for between £80 million and £100 million. For Graphite, the transation marks the second investment of Graphite Capital Partners VIII, a £500 million vehicle which closed last year.

ICR was formed by Gresham in July 2011 to buy out the engineered composite technology specialist, Walker Technical. Following a buy and build strategy led by Gresham and management over the last three years, ICR is now comprised of an international integrity and maintenance group of companies in the oil & gas sector.

Under Gresham’s ownership, ICR made three add-on acquisitions and opened new offices in Dubai and Perth, Australia. Over the three year period, turnover has increased from £6m to more than £30m this year and employee numbers have grown from 45 to over 170.

Gresham made the original investment using its current fund, a £340 million Fund IV, a 2006-vintage. Last month, it sold LAS Claims Management to the Innovation Group for £35 million.

In January, Gresham sold footwear company Hotter Shoes to Electra Partners, delivering a return of “more than 3.5x”, a source told PEI at the time. The firm notched two exits last year, selling recruitment firm Swift Technical Group to Wellspring Capital Management for a 2x return and training company 7City for approximately £90 million, netting Gresham a 3x return.

Gresham reduced its partners from 13 to seven over the last year as it prepares to come to market with a smaller fund later this year, which is expected to target between £150 million and £200 million.