Lime Rock, SGAM buy French energy asset

Lime Rock Partners and SGAM/4D Global Energy Development Capital, two energy-focused private equity firms based in North America and France respectively, have teamed up to buy Serimer DASA.

Serimer DASA, a Paris-based provider of automatic welding services for offshore and onshore pipelines, has been bought out of Stolt Offshore, the UK-based underwater engineering and construction services firm, by Lime Rock Partners and SGAM/4D Global Energy Development Capital.

The business is based north of Paris with headquarters in Mitry Mory, with operations at Villers-Cotteret, and also includes Serimer DASA North America, a wholly owned affiliate with offices in Houston, Texas. It has sale of around €40 million and employs over 200 staff, mostly in France.

The company was started life nearly 30 years ago as the in-house automatic welding service of French contractor ETPM. In 1998 the unit became a separate company known as Serimer DASA, offering services outside as well as within ETPM. Stolt acquired ETPM in 2000, and will remain Serimer’s largest customer following the latest deal.

“Worldwide pipeline activity remains on an upward path,” said Lawrence Ross of Lime Rock Partners. “Serimer provides a crucial capability to this segment of the energy industry and has a reputation for providing outstanding service to both the offshore and onshore sectors.”

Simmons & Company, the investment bank focused on the energy sector, introduced the deal to Lime Rock and was lead advisor to both purchasers. Bank of Scotland is providing a leveraged debt package for the deal, while the Paris office of Simmons & Simmons acted a legal advisers to the investors.

Lime Rock Partners was established in 1998 as a private equity fund investing solely in the energy sector in North America and Europe. It has $420 million under management and offices in Westport, Houston, Calgary and Aberdeen.

SGAM/4D was launched last year as an $81 million private equity fund dedicated to making investments in mid-market companies operating in the oil and gas sector. Serimer DASA represents the fund’s third investment.