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3i And Syndicate Sell Vetco Gray To GE Oil & Gas

Vetco logoCandover, 3i and JPMorgan Partners sell Vetco Gray, a division of Vetco International, to GE Oil & Gas for US$1.9 billion (€1.5 bn) and retain investment in Vetco Aibel.

A private equity syndicate comprising Candover*, 3i and JPMorgan Partners** today announce the sale of Vetco Gray to GE's Oil & Gas division for an enterprise value of US$1.9 billion (€1.5 bn) on a debt-free, cash-free basis. Completion of the deal is expected in February 2007.

The sale of Vetco Gray, and the spin out of Vetco Aibel, marks a partial exit from Vetco International for the syndicate, which acquired the business in July 2004 from ABB Oil & Gas.

Vetco Gray, headquartered in Houston, is one of the world's leading suppliers of drilling, completion and production equipment for on and offshore oil and gas fields, including Subsea applications. The business, which is expected to generate over $1.6 billion of sales in 2006, employs 5,000 people worldwide in more than 30 countries.

Candover, 3i and JPMorgan Partners will remain as shareholders in the other operating subsidiary company, Vetco Aibel, a leading provider of upstream oil and gas production facilities, process systems, technology, services and products. From new build to decommission, it maintains, modifies and operates on and offshore oil & gas production facilities. The business operates across 17 countries with over 5,000 professionals. The business will be renamed Aibel.

Commenting on the sale, the private equity syndicate commented:

"Vetco International has performed strongly under our ownership, and generated an impressive return in under three years. Under the leadership of Peter Goode, management have driven tremendous growth in sales and EBITDA. Rising oil and gas prices, and the associated increase in oil and gas drilling and production have further advanced Vetco International's performance.

"We retain Aibel, an exceptional business, and look forward to harnessing and furthering the growth prospects of the company. We have every confidence that both businesses will continue to expand and take advantage of the current market environment, and we wish the management and staff at Vetco Gray every success."

Commenting on the syndicate's continued investment in Aibel, Vetco International CEO Peter Goode said:

"The Vetco International management team has established a strong and successful working relationship with the private equity syndicate over the past two and a half years and we are delighted that this will continue under our extended ownership of Aibel. With the sale of Vetco Gray now agreed, management's focus will be to grow Aibel organically and secure an attractive exit for the private equity syndicate in an appropriate time frame."

*  Candover means Candover Investments plc and / or one or more of its subsidiaries, including Candover Partners Limited as General Partner of the Candover 1997 and 2001 Funds and as Manager of the Candover 2005 Fund.

**  JPMorgan Partners refers to J.P. Morgan Partners, LLC and its controlled investment vehicles.

Find out more about:
Vetco International
Vetco Aibel
Vetco Gray

3i
Candover
JPMorgan Partners

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Posted 09/01/06

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