Investcorp snaps up UK oil services group

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Investcorp, the Bahrain-based investment bank, has made its latest acquisition in the UK after buying Moody International, an oil services group, for $311m (£157m) including debt.

The purchase will give Investcorp access to an impressive client list which includes BP, Royal Dutch Shell, Statoil and Exxon Mobil and exposure to the rapidly growing oil services sector.

Moody, owned by Close Brothers Private Equity, provides testing services for equipment used by the oil and gas industry. It also supplies personnel to companies working in the extractive industries.

The acquisition is the latest from Bahrain based investment groups in the UK. In October, Arcapita, which was formerly known as the First Islamic Investment Bank, bought Viridian, the Northern Irish utility for £1.66bn and on the same day Istithmar paid $1bn for a near-3 per cent stake in Standard Chartered, the UK emerging markets bank.

Investcorp, which raised $400m in a secondary London listing in December, was founded by an Iraqi born entrepreneur called Nemir Kirdar in 1982.

It has been active in recent weeks buying Armacell, a German company specialising in insulating plastics and foams, from CVC Capital Partners and Glide Buyout Fund for an undisclosed amount last month. It also bought Greatwide Logistics Services, Dallas-based logistics group, for an undisclosed sum.

Last month it shot to prominence after Polestar, a printing group, was forced to restructure its operations wiping out the Bahrain group’s investment. Investcorp had invested £167m in the magazine printer which ran into difficulties quickly after its creation in 1998.

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