AP NEWS

Stamford private equity firm plans three acquisitions

February 25, 2019

STAMFORD — Private equity firm First Reserve has announced in the past week a trio of planned acquisitions, including an approximately $360 million deal for a provider of engineered valves and pumps to the energy and industrial sectors.

The latter transaction, to purchase Weir Flow Control from the Glasgow, Scotland-based Weir Group PLC, is expected to close in the second quarter of this year.

“In our view, Weir Flow Control represents an attractive growth platform in a fragmented sector, with internationally recognized brands driven by recurring high-margin aftermarket parts and services which have proven to be resilient through multiple economic environments,” First Reserve managing directors Jeff Quake and Neil Hartley said in a joint statement.

On Friday, First Reserve said it would create a fuel-distribution investment venture focused on the southeastern states that would launch with two new acquisitions.

The platform would include Refuel Inc. , which runs a chain of gas stations in the Charleston, S.C. area, that First Reserve has agreed to buy. At the same time, First Reserve has also reached terms on its first purchase for Refuel: West Oil Inc., which operates Markette convenience stores and West Oil fuel brands, primarily in northeastern South Carolina.

Financial terms of the Refuel and West Oil acquisitions were not disclosed. Those deals are scheduled to close in the first half of this year.

“We are pleased to partner with (Refuel CEO) Mark Jordan and (Chief Administrative Officer) Travis Smith to establish a new platform in what we believe is the highly fragmented retail fuel distribution sector,” First Reserve managing directors Gary Reaves and Neil Wizel said in a joint statement. “Under their leadership, we believe Refuel, in part powered by the synergies of the combination with West Oil, is well-positioned for expansion in an attractive regional market.”

Refuel was founded in 2008 by Jordan. West Oil started in 1964.

Among other deals in the past year, First Reserve announced last August that it would sell Deep Gulf Energy Cos., a Houston-based oil-and-gas business, for approximately $1.23 billion to Dallas-based Kosmos Energy.

Last July, First Reserve announced it planned to buy an equipment maker from GE’s Baker Hughes oilfield services company, accounting for a majority of the $375 million sale of the latter’s natural gas business.

First Reserve is based in the Shippan Landing office complex, in Stamford’s Shippan section. The firm relocated in 2017 from Greenwich.

pschott@scni.com; 203-964-2236; twitter: @paulschott