Pine Brook Launches Equipment Rental Business with $100M

  July 30, 2015

DOWJONES - LBO Wire Shasha Dai - Pine Brook Partners said it committed $100 million to Cahill Services LLC, a provider of rental services to the oil and gas, refining, industrial, petrochemicals and utilities industries.

The Houston company will seek to acquire existing rental services providers and is "actively evaluating a number of potential acquisitions," according to a news release.

Cahill's senior management includes Chief Executive George Walker, who had worked 27 years at U.K. company Aggreko PLC, where he most recently was president of North American operations.

Michael E. McMahon, a managing director of Pine Brook's energy team, said the firm had identified Mr. Walker more than a year ago as a potential candidate to lead a new company for Pine Brook.

"We were looking for a team that could create a specialty rental business," said Mr. McMahon.

He said he three legs of the stool of Cahill"s business include oil-field services, refining equipment, and petrochemical industry, which provides "diversity and stability" to the company.

In terms of the oil-field services sector, Mr. McMahon said the commodity price downturn has presented attractive opportunity for the startup.

"Sometimes, the best time to build a business is when things are out of favor," he said. "Interested competitors are distracted. Some are overleveraged. Public companies are fighting quarterly earnings... Customers are under some pressure as well."

Mr. McMahon said he is seeing opportunity across the energy spectrum, particularly in the exploration and production, and oil-field services sectors.

Pine Brook, which invests primarily in energy and financial services businesses, had a final closing on its current fund last year, Pine Brook Capital Partners II LP, with total commitments of $2.43 billion. The firm has offices in New York and Houston.