Blackstone Energy Partners said Oct. 23 it will buy Ulterra Drilling Technologies, confirming reports of the deal earlier this week citing unnamed sources.
As part of the transaction, the New York-based private-equity firm agreed to acquire a controlling, majority interest in Ulterra, which is a manufacturer of drillbits and downhole tools for the oil and gas industry, from affiliates of American Securities LLC.
Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed, though Reuters reported on Oct. 22 the acquisition would be worth around $700 million, according to two sources familiar with the matter.
Based in Fort Worth, Texas, Ulterra is the largest pure-play, independent supplier of polycrystalline diamond compact (PDC) drillbits to the oil and gas industry. The company currently has a leading position in many of the most active U.S. onshore oil and gas basins, including the Permian and Eagle Ford, and has a growing presence internationally, the Blackstone press release said.
“We believe that high-quality equipment manufacturers such as Ulterra will continue to represent attractive investment opportunities, including potential add-on acquisitions for Ulterra, or new standalone opportunities in oilfield services and equipment,” Eric Liaw, senior managing director of Blackstone Energy Partners, said in a statement.
American Securities, which acquired Ulterra from Esso Corp. in 2016, and certain members of management will retain a minority equity interest in Ulterra.
Blackstone’s acquisition of Ulterra is being supported by a debt package which is currently being pre-marketed ahead of a formal launch, Reuters reported one of the sources said this week.
The transaction is expected to close prior to year-end 2018, according to the Blackstone release.
Kirkland & Ellis provided legal counsel to Blackstone for the transaction. Barclays is the firm’s financial adviser. Simmons & Co. International, energy specialists of Piper Jaffray, and Wells Fargo Securities LLC were financial advisers to American Securities and Ulterra. Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP acted as the companies’ legal counsel.
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