Private equity firm Blue Water Energy (BWE) has taken a controlling stake in a Stockton-headquartered energy, engineering and process industries business px Group.
Blue Water Energy LLP is a private equity firm investing exclusively in the energy sector with a targeted focus on the middle market energy space. Blue Water Energy LLP currently manages and advises its fund, Blue Water Energy Fund I, L.P., with a total capital commitment of $861m.
The investment provides px Group with access to capital for further investment, with the company having enjoyed significant growth in recent years.
The management team, headed up by chief executive Ian Clifford, all other Px staff and operations throughout the UK and abroad will continue unaltered.
With more than 400 employees, Px provides operations and maintenance, engineering and energy, trading and management services to owners of large-scale energy and process infrastructure assets in the European market. Its customers include energy and utility companies, financial investors and governmental authorities.
Clifford said: “We are delighted to have secured the backing of BWE at a time of tremendous potential for the company.
“There is an excellent fit between our business strategy and BWE’s expertise and investment model. This support will significantly enhance our ability to take advantage of opportunities available in the current market.”
Graeme Sword, partner at BWE, added: “We expect a significant transition in the ownership of midstream and power generation assets across Europe over the coming years.
“px’s track record in operating high complexity energy assets, its customer-focused and flexible commercial strategy and its fully integrated service offering well place the company to be a significant participant in the independent energy sector as the size of the market increases.”
Christopher Picotte, who took an equity stake in the px Group in 2013, will remain as non-executive chairman and is co-investing with BWE.
Newcastle-based Square One Law advised Blue Water Energy on the transaction with a team led by James Bryce and including corporate partner Mark Lazenby, senior associates John Hammill and Marie-Louise Bozonet and associates Ashraf Ali and Lucy Bailey.
James Bryce, Partner at Square One Law, commented: “It was fantastic to work with the Blue Water team on what was a very rewarding project and a great transaction for the region. Inward investment of this kind into the region is a sign of confidence in both the oil & gas market and the North East’s ability to deliver world class engineering and support services.”