H.I.G. Capital News


Jeff Zanarini

H.I.G. Capital, L.L.C.
1001 Brickell Bay Drive
Miami, FL 33131
P 305.379.2322

H.I.G. Capital Invests to Expand Gulf Fleet Management

MIAMI - May 10, 2007 - H.I.G. Capital, a leading Miami-based private equity firm, has announced it has completed a significant investment in Gulf Fleet Management ("GFM" or "The Company"). Gulf Fleet Management is an international offshore supply vessel (OSV) company that provides critical support services to offshore drilling rigs, fixed platforms, floating platforms, seismic vessels, and diving operations.

The main services provided by GFM vessels include:

  • Delivering supplies & equipment, fuel and water to offshore rigs and platforms.
  • Supporting offshore construction & diving projects.
  • Moving personnel to, from, and between offshore installations.
  • Providing safety and emergency response services.

Gulf Fleet Management, based in Lafayette, Louisiana, provides personnel and supply transport services to over 80 oil & gas customers, including independent, national and international operators. GFM fields a varied fleet of a dozen OSVs -including seismic support, crew and utility boats, featuring several 2006 and 2007 newbuilds. Founded in 1986, Gulf Fleet benefits from long-standing relationships with key oil & gas operators via its direct charter business and broad-reaching third-party brokerage group.

H.I.G. partnered with management to consummate the transaction. "We are pleased to work with H.I.G. to leverage their oil patch experience and continue growing our business" said Mike Hillman, the Chief Executive Officer of Gulf Fleet Management. "The recapitalization of Gulf Fleet Management allows us to continue growing our fleet of first-class vessels, and gives us the flexibility to follow our customers from Brazil to Alaska, from West Africa to the North Sea, and throughout Shallow and Deep Water assignments in the Gulf of Mexico."

"We are excited about Gulf Fleet's prospects, and intend to actively support the Company as it expands its fleet and further deepens its industry leading customer relationships" said Jeff Zanarini of H.I.G. Capital. "We have great confidence in the Hillman family as operators, and believe that the partnership between GFM and H.I.G. will facilitate and expedite our collective goal to grow the Company to its next logical position as the largest privately-held OSV fleet in the Gulf of Mexico, with sizeable and growing international operations."

About Gulf Fleet Management
Gulf Fleet Management owns and operates a premier fleet of Offshore Supply Vessels (OSVs), providing critical support services to offshore drilling rigs, fixed & floating platforms, seismic vessels, and diving operations. The Company operates primarily in the Gulf of Mexico, but also contracts its vessels to oil & gas companies operating in Alaska and international markets such as Brazil, Mexico, the North Sea and West Africa. Based in Lafayette, Louisiana, Gulf Fleet has been providing marine logistics and transportation solutions since 1986. The majority of the GFM fleet is both deep water-capable and internationally-classed, providing for maximum deployment flexibility. GFM currently owns & operates twelve vessels, and is in the process of building an additional seven, including the 225-foot Master Everett, soon to be the largest DP-I vessel in the fleet, and a 250-foot DP-II vessel scheduled for delivery in 2008. For more information, please visit www.gulffleet.com.

About H.I.G. Capital
H.I.G. Capital L.L.C. ("H.I.G.") is a leading private equity and venture capital investment firm with more than $4 billion of equity capital under management. Based in Miami, and with offices in Atlanta, Boston, and San Francisco in the U.S., as well as affiliate offices in London, Paris and Hamburg in Europe, H.I.G. specializes in providing capital to small and medium-sized companies with attractive growth potential. H.I.G. invests in management-led buyouts and recapitalizations of profitable and well managed manufacturing or service businesses. H.I.G. also has extensive experience with financial restructurings and operational turnarounds. Since its founding, H.I.G. has completed more than 75 transactions. The firm currently manages a portfolio of more than 50 companies with combined revenues in excess of $7 billion. For more information, please refer to the H.I.G. website at www.higcapital.com.