Expro Group, a privately-held international energy services company with market leadership in well access and well flow optimization, and Frank’s International, a global oil services company that provides a broad range of highly engineered drilling and completions solutions and services, announced a definitive agreement under which the companies will combine in an all-stock transaction. Upon the closing of the transaction, Expro shareholders will own approximately 65% of the combined entity, with Frank’s shareholders owning approximately 35%.
The combination brings together two companies with decades of market leadership, best-in-class safety and service quality performance, exceptional talent and global capabilities in well construction, well flow management, subsea well access, well intervention and production services. With a broad range of complementary, highly specialized equipment and services, the combined company will provide customers with cost-effective, innovative solutions across the well lifecycle, driving a stable, diverse revenue mix. The combined company will have a strong, debt-free balance sheet, robust order backlog, more than $1 billion of pro forma annual revenue as well as an ability to generate through-cycle free cash flow and growth.
“This transaction unites two established industry players to create a leading service provider with an extensive portfolio of capabilities across the well lifecycle,” said Mike Jardon, Chief Executive Officer of Expro. “Together, Expro and Frank’s will be better positioned to support our customers around the world and navigate industry cyclicality. This business combination also allows us to rationalize facilities and other support costs, optimize business processes, capitalize on profitable growth opportunities and create value for shareholders of both companies, particularly as the environment for international projects continues to improve.”
Mr. Jardon continued, “We expect the combined company’s scale, debt-free balance sheet and cash flow outlook will allow us to accelerate growth. This will be achieved through an enhanced ability to deliver integrated customer solutions and increased investments in digitalization, autonomous operations and other technologies. The combination of Expro and Frank’s also allows us to advance our commitment to a lower carbon future, which is underpinned by our goals to maximize efficiency and improve our products and services to help the Company and its customers lower emissions. Finally, this transaction will unite two of the premier teams in the industry, and better allow us to attract, retain and develop the best workforce. We look forward to combining the strengths of our businesses and teams and building upon both companies’ proud track records of providing safe, reliable and cost-effective solutions and best-in-class service quality to Expro’s and Frank’s many customers.”
“Expro and Frank’s share complementary cultures, values and competencies – all of which support a smooth integration for our customers and employees,” said Mike Kearney, Chairman, President and CEO of Frank’s. “After undertaking a thorough process to consider a range of strategic alternatives, we are confident that this transaction presents a compelling opportunity for Frank’s shareholders to benefit from value creation led by returns-focused growth. The combination brings scale, improved profitability and free cash flow and, together, we will be better positioned for the industry recovery, of which we are in the early stages. We are extremely proud of Frank’s history and the talented individuals of Frank’s who helped build and sustain our great company. We expect this combination to create career development and advancement opportunities for many of our employees as part of a more balanced and stronger combined organization.”
Multiple Avenues for Value Creation
Broad offering that spans the well lifecycle provides through-cycle resilience and ability to better capture cyclical recovery upside: The combined company’s expanded product offerings will enable it to perform well across the oilfield cycle – generating strong and stable cash flow – and positioning it to capitalize on upside driven by a recovery. The combined company will offer a balanced portfolio of services and solutions that meet customer needs across well construction, completions, production optimization and de-commissioning, in both onshore and offshore markets. Its diverse revenue streams are supported by a global operating footprint and a blue-chip customer base. Together, Expro and Frank’s will generate approximately one-third of the combined company’s revenue from customers’ production optimization efforts. At December 31, 2020, Expro’s backlog was approximately $1 billion.
Establishes well lifecycle leadership across enhanced geographic footprint, including key international markets: The combined company will have leading positions in large addressable markets across the well-lifecycle and customer spend, with operations in more than 50 countries and across six continents, including the world’s most prolific oil and gas basins. Expro’s established position in North Africa, the Middle East and Asia markets will provide significant opportunities to expand Frank’s presence in these attractive regions. Similarly, the combined company will leverage Frank’s strong position in drilling and completions services throughout the Americas to deliver integrated customer solutions.
Robust technology and innovation pipeline to aid sustainability goals: Both companies are committed to continuing their development of technologies that will drive enhanced sustainability and enable the combined company to capitalize on industry trends geared towards digitalization, automation and a lower carbon future. The combined company will remain committed to achieving a 50% reduction in carbon intensity by 2030, and net zero CO2 emissions by 2050, protecting the environment while providing core products and services that help make energy affordable for people around the world and optimize participation in the energy transition.
Strong Balance Sheet and Synergies Bring Significant Degree of Operational Flexibility and Strategic Optionality
Significant and achievable synergies: The combined company is targeting approximately $55 million of annual run-rate cost synergies to be achieved in the first twelve months, ramping up to $70 million of annual cost savings within 36 months. The companies have also identified significant growth opportunities through complementary customer relationships and operating footprints, earlier visibility into customer requirements, increased time on rig and greater exposure to the full life of the field.
Strong balance sheet and cash flow before synergies: The combined company will have a debt-free balance sheet and pro forma revenue and adjusted EBITDA, excluding identified synergies, of more than $1 billion and $107 million, respectively, based on the twelve months ended December 31, 2020. At closing, the combined company is expected to have approximately $285 million of cash. To supplement available liquidity, the companies expect to complete syndication of a revolving credit facility, which will be available for direct borrowings and letters of credit, of up to $250 million prior to the close of the transaction.
Proven Leadership Team
Upon closing of the transaction, Expro Chief Executive Officer, Mike Jardon, will become Chief Executive Officer of the combined company and will be a member of the Board of Directors. Mike Kearney, Frank’s Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, will serve as Chairman of the combined company. Quinn Fanning will serve as Chief Financial Officer of the combined company, and the remainder of the new leadership team is expected to include representatives of both companies.
In addition to Mike Kearney and Mike Jardon, the remainder of the combined company's nine-member Board of Directors will comprise five additional directors appointed by Expro and two additional directors appointed by Frank’s.
The combined company will be operationally headquartered in Houston, Texas, and will maintain a significant operating presence in Lafayette, Louisiana, Aberdeen, Scotland and other key locations around the world. The principal executive office of the combined company will remain in the Netherlands.
Under the terms of the agreement, which has been unanimously approved by the Boards of Directors of both companies, Expro shareholders will receive a fixed exchange ratio of 7.272 shares of Frank’s for each share of Expro owned, subject to adjustment in specified circumstances. Upon the closing of the transaction, Expro shareholders will own approximately 65% of the merged entity, with Frank’s shareholders owning approximately 35%. The transaction is structured to be tax-free to shareholders, and is expected to close in the quarter ending September 30, 2021, subject to approval by Frank’s and Expro shareholders and customary closing conditions, including required regulatory approvals. Upon closing, the combined company will assume the Expro Group name and be listed on the NYSE exchange under the symbol “XPRO”. The combined company will retain the Frank’s brand name for its well construction solutions.
The Mosing family representatives on the Frank’s Board unanimously support the transaction. Expro shareholders representing approximately two-thirds of ownership have agreed to support the transaction.