New York, NY, July 17, 2008 – Avista Capital Partners, a leading private equity firm, today announced that it has retained John R. Huff, Chairman of the Board of Oceaneering International, Inc., as an Industry Advisor.
Mr. Huff was formerly President and Chief Executive Officer of Oceaneering, a global oilfield provider of engineered services and products primarily to the offshore oil and gas industry. Under his 20+ years of leadership, Oceaneering was transformed from primarily a diving company to a high technology provider of products and services. In 1987, Oceaneering was recapitalized, returning 40x the offering price and 160x the value from when Mr. Huff started at the company the year before. Mr. Huff restored profitability through the installation of a Management by Objectives System and a focus on improved technologies for subsea and deepwater applications.
Steven Webster, Co-Managing Partner and President of Avista, said, “I have known John for many years and have always admired the great work he has done to build Oceaneering into a leading technology-driven service provider in the offshore drilling and production business. With John's experience, insight into leading edge technology issues, and strong connections with a number of companies in the energy space, I have no doubt John will make significant contributions to Avista's energy investment practice.”
Mr. Huff added, “It is my privilege to associate with the outstanding people at Avista. I look forward to assisting them in developing the necessary expertise to push down the cost of finding and developing energy resources worldwide, and in identifying a variety of companies with strong growth prospects in this industry space.”
Prior to his appointment at Oceaneering, Mr. Huff was managing partner of Falcon Partners Inc., an investment-banking group. From 1972 to 1986, Mr. Huff held positions of increasing responsibility at Western Oceanic, an offshore drilling contractor, with the last six years serving as chairman and president.
Mr. Huff received a Bachelor of Civil Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology. He is a Director of BJ Services Company; KBR, Inc.; Rowan Companies, Inc.; and Suncor Energy Inc. Mr. Huff is a member of the National Petroleum Council and The Explorers Club, and a director of St. Luke’s Health Systems.
About Avista Capital Partners
Avista Capital Partners is a leading private equity firm with offices in New York, NY and Houston, TX. Founded in 2005, Avista's strategy is to make controlling or influential minority investments primarily in growth-oriented media, healthcare and energy companies. Through its team of seasoned investment professionals and industry experts, Avista seeks to partner with exceptional management teams to invest in and add value to well-positioned businesses. The firm closed its inaugural $2.0 billion private equity fund in June 2007 and has made investments in 19 portfolio companies broadly diversified in the energy, healthcare, and media industries. For more information, visit www.avistacap.com.