Inflexion completes slick oil and gas exit

The UK mid-market firm has made 12x selling Viking Moorings in a secondary buyout, but retains a stake in the business alongside its new private equity backer HSBC.

Mid-market UK firm Inflexion Private Equity Partners has exited Viking Moorings, an Aberdeen-based oil services business, in a secondary buyout by HSBC Private Equity. Financial details were not disclosed, but Inflexion said the exit generated a return of 12 times its investment and was one of its most successful deals ever.

Inflexion backed the £22 million (€25 million; $36 million) buyout of Viking Moorings in 2006. Over the three years of Inflexion’s ownership the business has doubled its employee numbers and seen a sevenfold increased in profits to £28 million, the firm said.

Viking: Inflexion still on board

Viking manufactures and supplies mooring systems for drilling rigs and other vessels in the oil and gas sector.

As part of the buyout, Inflexion will reinvest £25 million of its exit proceeds into the secondary buyout alongside HSBC. Inflexion partner Tim Smallbone will remain on Viking’s board, which will be joined by HSBC Private Equity’s chief executive Mahmoud Atalla and Tom Ehret, currently vice chairman of construction business Acergy Offshore.

HSBC Private Equity, the captive private equity arm of the global banking group, makes investments of £10 million to £50 million, mainly partnering with management teams and HSBC clients. Finance for the Viking secondary buyout was provided by HSBC Bank, the Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds TSB and Clydesdale Bank.