July 19–Private equity firm First Reserve announced Wednesday it planned to buy an equipment maker from GE’sBaker Hughes oilfield services company, comprising a majority of the $375 million sale of the latter’s natural gas business.
Stamford-based First Reserve previously owned Houston-based Dresser Natural Gas Solutions, which manufactures commercial and industrial natural gas meters and pipeline repair products, for about 10 years when it was part of Dresser Inc., a former First Reserve portfolio company that was sold to GE for $3 billion in 2011. Dresser NGS then became part of Baker Hughes, after the firm merged last year with GE’s own oil-and-gas equipment and services business.
“With our previous knowledge of the business and global network, we are excited to help Dresser NGS grow market share and continue to deliver advanced solutions for its suite of blue-chip utility and other midstream customers,” Jeff Quake, managing director of First Reserve, said in a statement. “We believe Dresser NGS has a resilient business model, a leading brand and a global footprint which position the company well for the future.”
The sale, expected to close by the end of the year, includes the transfer of approximately 450 employees. They are located in eight countries, including three manufacturing sites in North America and the United Kingdom.
In a related deal, Baker Hughes has agreed to sell a branch of its natural gas solutions product line to Italian firm Pietro Fiorentini, which specializes in natural gas metering and regulation. That deal covers about 40 employees and a manufacturing site in Talamona, Italy.
“We know our customers and employees are in good hands with both First Reserve and Pietro Fiorentini,” Baker Hughes Chairman and CEO Lorenzo Simonelli said in a statement. “Going forward, we will continue to evaluate our portfolio to best deliver for our customers and achieve our financial priorities of expanding margins, increasing market share and outperforming on cash generation.”
Dresser NGS makes equipment that serves markets spanning the gas distribution utility, midstream and petrochemical industries. Replacements and upgrades of aging infrastructure in those areas is critical, First Reserve officials said.
First Reserve officials described Dresser as an innovative firm, citing its 43 registered trademarks and more than 100 active patents or patent filings around the world.
First Reserve, which focuses solely on the energy sector, has raised approximately $31 billion of capital since its 1983 founding. It has completed more than 650 transactions, creating several energy companies throughout its 35-year history.
Its portfolio companies operate across 40 countries, on six continents.
The firm relocated around the turn of the year from Greenwich to the Shippan Landing office complex in Stamford’s Shippan section.
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