UAE, 20 August, 2014 – Standard Chartered Private Equity (“SCPE”) announced today the acquisition of a minority stake in Topaz Energy and Marine (Bermuda) (“Topaz”), one of the world’s leading offshore support vessel operators, through an equity investment of US$ 75 million. Topaz is headquartered in the UAE and operates a fleet of 99 offshore support vessels (OSVs) throughout the Middle East and the Caspian with an existing, growing presence in West Africa. Topaz’s parent company is Renaissance Services SAOG (“Renaissance”), an Omani company listed on the Muscat Securities Market. The proceeds will be used to fund Topaz’s expansion plan, which includes the acquisition of vessels for existing business and geographical expansion. SCPE will be granted a board seat and will provide strategic insight towards delivering on Topaz’s global business and capital market ambitions.
This is the first investment in the Middle East and North Africa (“MENA”) energy sector for SCPE, the first private equity transaction in the UAE and the fourth investment overall in the region. SCPE is committed to investing in successful MENA businesses across sectors and is actively seeking opportunities across the Middle East. SCPE invests in companies with proven cash flows, backed by best in class management teams in flexible private equity or mezzanine structures.
Taimoor Labib, Regional Head of MENA Private Equity & Head of Global Private Equity Portfolio Management at SCPE said:
“We are proud and humbled to have been chosen as strategic partners by one of the leading companies in the UAE and the Middle East, with a global reputation within the oil and gas space. Topaz’s high quality management team, committed shareholder base and independent governance are admired by many in the region. We look forward to working with our partners at Topaz and helping the company achieve its long-term strategic objectives”. Mr. Labib will be joining the Topaz Board on behalf of SCPE.
Samir Fancy, Chairman of Topaz said:
“On behalf of the Board of Directors, I’m pleased to welcome SCPE on board. Bringing in institutional funds is a key part of the Board’s strategic capital markets plan. Topaz has been a target of much investor interest; however, our choice of partner was logical given the deep multi-decade relationship between Topaz and Standard Chartered Bank. This partnership between Renaissance and one of the leading emerging markets private equity houses speaks volumes in terms of the value of Topaz and its tremendous potential. The diversification of our sources of capital puts Topaz firmly on the path to eventual independence as a world-class OSV business, as envisaged by Renaissance Services’ Group strategy.”
René Kofod-Olsen, CEO of Topaz said:
“Joining forces with a private equity powerhouse like SCPE will enable Topaz to truly accelerate the realization of our strategic plan. We have now enhanced the foundation from which we can deliver our ambition for further geographical diversification and growth through both organic expansion and acquisitions. SCPE is investing because of its firm belief in the Topaz story, the team and our strategy, and we look forward to working together in close partnership.”
SCPE is the private equity arm of Standard Chartered Bank. SCPE invests in companies in need of expansion capital or acquisition finance, and in management buy-outs. SCPE focuses on companies whose principal operations and management are located in Asia, Africa or the Middle East. It is an active partner that provides board-level strategic advice and access to the international network of Standard Chartered Bank, and since inception has invested about US$ 6 billion in over 100 companies across the bank’s footprint.
Topaz Energy and Marine is a leading offshore support vessel company providing marine solutions to the global energy industry with primary focus on the Caspian, Middle East, West Africa and Subsea operations in the North Sea and Gulf of Mexico. Headquartered in Dubai with 40 years of experience in the Middle East, Topaz operates a fleet of 99 offshore support vessels of an average age of 7 years. Topaz is a subsidiary of Renaissance Services SAOG, a publicly traded company on the Muscat Securities Market, Oman.