Oligarch Stalks Oil Recruiter
The buyout fund backed by one of the oligarchs embroiled in a bitter dispute with BP over its Russian joint venture is among a group of bidders stalking one of Britain's largest specialist oil and gas recruitment firms.
I understand that Pamplona Capital, which is partly-funded by Mikhail Fridman's Alfa Group, is one of a handful of parties preparing to lodge bids in the next few weeks for NES Global Talent.
NES, which is owned by Graphite Capital, another private equity firm, is being put up for sale amid significant growth in international demand for technical and engineering staff in the oil and gas, power and rail sectors.
Pamplona will face stiff competition to acquire NES. Bridgepoint, the company's former owner, is among the other bidders, along with AEA Investors, CCMP Capital and Omers, a large Canadian pension fund.
Mr Fridman's Alfa is one of the investors in AAR, the consortium which owns half of TNK-BP, BP's joint venture in Russia.
BP is in talks to sell its shareholding following years of disagreement with its partners over the management, governance and strategy of the company.
RW Baird, the investment bank, is handling the sale of NES, which is expected to command a price-tag of about £200m.