First Reserve sells majority interest in Acteon to KKR

LONDON Mon Oct 1, 2012 5:41am EDT

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LONDON (Reuters) - Private equity investor KKR (KKR.N) has bought UK offshore oil and gas services group Acteon from rival First Reserve, it said on Monday.

Texas-based private equity firm White Deer Energy will take a minority stake alongside KKR, with the remainder of the company owned by management, the groups said.

No financial details were disclosed but two people familiar with the situation said the deal valued the company at 800 million to 900 million pounds ($1.3-1.45 billion).

First Reserve bought a 52 percent stake in Acteon in 2006 for 70 million pounds.

Acteon, which provides subsea services, has seen operating profits quadruple in the last six years as its business has grown internationally and explorers have move into deeper waters.

The deal follows KKR's purchase of U.S. oil and gas producer Samson last year, in 2011's second largest leveraged buyout.

Other private equity firms have been active in the sector too, with Apollo (APO.N) leading a consortium to buy El Paso Corp's oil and gas exploration business in February.

J.P. Morgan Cazenove and Simmons & Company International jointly advised First Reserve and Acteon while HSBC advised KKR.

($1=0.6193 British pounds)

(Reporting by Simon Meads; Editing by Greg Mahlich)

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