30 September 2009 – Advent International, the global private equity firm, today announced that Tom Ehret has joined the firm’s Operating Partner Programme to advise globally on investment opportunities in the oil and gas services and equipment sector.
With over 30 years of experience, Tom is a well-recognised figure in the offshore and subsea subsectors and has been instrumental in several industry shaping events. Tom was previously Chief Executive Officer of Acergy S.A., one of the world’s largest offshore engineering and construction contractors to the oil and gas industry globally. Having joined the business in 2003, Tom led the rapid restructuring and repositioning of the company improving performance from a loss of ($418) million in 2003 to a net profit of $307 million in 2008. Tom retired from the business in 2008 and remains a non-executive on the board of directors.
Prior to joining Acergy, Tom led the turnaround of Stena Offshore, a privately held contractor for subsea and deepwater solutions, in the early 1990's and organised the company’s acquisition of Santa Fe's pipelay business as well as its merger with then US listed Coflexip in 1995 (latterly forming Coflexip-Stena Offshore or CSO). As Chief Operating Officer of the combined business, Tom was instrumental in CSO’s $625 million acquisition of Aker Deepwater in 2001 before the $3.2 billion sale of the group to Technip S.A., in 2002. Tom subsequently became Vice Chairman of the Management Board of Technip and President of its Offshore Branch.
Tom currently holds a number of non-executive directorships of both listed and private companies. He is currently Chairman of Viking Moorings Ltd., Deputy Chairman of Acergy S.A., Deputy Chairman of Dockwise Ltd., Non-Executive Director of Green Holdings Corporation and a Member of the Supervisory Board of SBM Offshore.
Jan Janshen, Managing Director and head of Advent International’s European industrials practice, said, “Tom’s impressive track record of operational performance and turnaround management as well as his extensive experience in the oil and gas market make him a valuable addition in an important sector for Advent globally. His appointment follows that of Michael McShane earlier this month who is advising our US team on its investment strategy in the oil and gas services and equipment sector. We look forward to combining our respective areas of expertise to identify new opportunities for Advent.”
Commenting on his new role, Tom Ehret said, "I am very happy to join the Advent team and to work with them on the development of their oil and gas services portfolio. Their analytical approach, operational focus and unique global footprint in the key geographies for oil and gas are important factors in successfully investing in this sector, especially in this very interesting phase of the oil and gas business cycle."
Advent International has been active in the industrials sector for over 20 years and has invested in over 70 companies globally. Among Advent’s previous investments in the industrials sector is Boart Longyear, the leading provider of drilling services, tools and equipment for the mining, construction, water and environmental industries worldwide, from which Advent exited in 2007. Current industrials sector investments include: Nukem (remaining part of RWE Solutions, a diversified portfolio of energy-related services businesses); Bradco Supply, a leading distributor of residential and commercial roofing materials in the US; Oxea, one of the world's leading manufacturers of Oxo chemicals; and Deutek, Romania’s largest decorative paints producer.
Advent’s Operating Partner Programme involves business leaders from a range of sectors working as consultants to the firm in a variety of ways: sourcing investment opportunities, assisting with the due diligence process and advising on the strategic and operational development of portfolio companies. The use of operating partners is a fundamental and long-established element of Advent’s highly operational approach to investing. The programme currently includes over 70 high-level individuals, many of whom have been involved in multiple Advent investments.