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BJ SERVICES: Argonaut Closes Purchase of Cementing Solutions Biz.

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Argonaut Private Equity, a Tulsa, Okla.-based private equity fund, announced Sept. 1, 2020, the acquisition of a cementing solutions business following the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of BJ Services located in Tomball, Texas.

“We differentiate ourselves in the private equity industry because we value the legacy established by our business enterprises and work side-by-side as partners in their success.”

Originally established in 1872, the cementing operation is now doing business as American Cementing with an established footprint in every major oil and gas basin throughout the United States. With the acquisition complete, American Cementing leaders announced today the retention of 260 highly-skilled employees related to the cementing business and procurement of company assets and equipment, including bulk plants and technical labs located in the field. No fracturing assets were acquired in the acquisition.

“The addition of American Cementing to the Argonaut Private Equity portfolio combines our expertise in efficient operations management with our experience in the oil and gas industry,” said Steve Mitchell, Argonaut CEO. “Argonaut’s capital investment provides the strength of our financial support to ensure American Cementing continues its reputation as a leading cementing service provider to upstream oil and gas companies throughout the United States. We are excited to provide American Cementing with an unlevered platform that is focused solely on cementing operations.”

American Cementing services include in-depth laboratory testing, precise blending at the bulk plant and dependable mixing and pumping operations at the wellsite. Additionally, the Company offers acidizing services and products that are engineered to enhance production and remove well-bore damage to ensure integrity for the lifetime of the well.

“We are pleased that American Cementing was able to retain the talent and expertise needed to continue operations and provide a seamless transition to our customers,” said Aaron James, Chief Operating Officer for American Cementing. “With the return to a fiscally-stable business model and clean balance sheet, we can build upon the standard of services and products for which we are known. With the assistance of Argonaut, we have the capacity to reach an even larger customer base within our major basin locations.”

Founded in 2002, Argonaut Private Equity manages investments across multiple asset classes with $3 billion of capital deployed in direct investments in key industry sectors including energy services, manufacturing and industrials.

“We differentiate ourselves in the private equity industry because we value the legacy established by our business enterprises and work side-by-side as partners in their success,” said Mitchell. “This is our third acquisition within the past two months. Despite the ongoing pandemic, Argonaut is actively reviewing opportunities and looks forward to completing more transactions.”

Simmons Energy, a division of Piper Sandler, served as the exclusive M&A investment banker to BJ Services.

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Jeremy Hill of Bloomberg News reports that BJ Services Inc. has received a $35 million bid for its cementing business. BJ already has $30 million bid for its fracturing pump platform and other assets from one of its equity sponsors, CSL Capital Management LP

About Argonaut Private Equity

Argonaut understands the unique needs of individual businesses that operate in the central region of the United States and other underserved markets. Argonaut is looking for opportunities across these sectors: energy services, manufacturing and industrials.

In Q3 2019, Argonaut had a final close on Argonaut Private Equity Fund IV, a $400 million fund that continues its strategy of generating attractive investment returns through a disciplined approach and aligning interests with those of their investors and business partners. The fund is focused on partnering with companies that provide services and products to the energy services, manufacturing and industrial sectors.

Steve Mitchell has led Argonaut since 2004, and currently serves as CEO.

About American Cementing

For more information, visit AmericanCementing.com for a complete product and service listing and locations guide for our North and South Operations.

About BJ Services LLC

BJ Services, LLC provides hydraulic fracturing and cementing services to upstream oil and gas companies engaged in the exploration and production of North American oil and natural gas resources. Based in Tomball, Texas, BJ Services operates in every major basin throughout U.S. and Canada.

BJ Services and its affiliates sought protection under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code (Bankr. S.D. Texas Lead Case No. 20-33627) on July 20, 2020. At the time of the filing, the Debtors disclosed assets of between $500 million and $1 billion and liabilities of the same range. Judge Marvin Isgur oversees the cases.

The Debtors have tapped Kirkland & Ellis, LLP, Kirkland & Ellis International, LLP and Gray Reed & McGraw LLP as their legal counsel, PJT Partners LP as investment banker, Ankura Consulting Group, LLC, as restructuring advisor, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP as tax consultant, and Donlin, Recano & Company, Inc., as claims agent.

The Debtors have also tapped a number of professionals to assist in
the marketing and sale of their assets.

The Office of the U.S. Trustee appointed a committee of unsecured creditors on July 28, 2020. The committee is represented by Squire Patton Boggs (US), LLP.