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9/21/2006 Capital Partners Invests $27 Million in Frontier Drilling

HOUSTON, TX Sept. 21, PRNewswire -- Avista Capital Partners, a leading private equity firm, today announced it has committed to invest $27 million in FDR Holdings Limited (dba Frontier Drilling) and certain of its subsidiaries in conjunction with other partners to partially finance Frontier's acquisition and refurbishment of the Transocean Explorer. Based in Houston, Texas, Frontier is an independent international provider of offshore drilling and production services for the oil industry, focused on the operation and management of offshore drilling rigs and floating production vessels. Avista invested $20 million at closing and committed to invest an additional $7 million under certain circumstances.

The Explorer is a second generation semisubmersible drilling rig currently capable of drilling in water depths of up to 1,250 feet and will be upgraded to operate in deeper water. The acquisition of the Explorer expands Frontier's offshore drilling fleet and enhances the company's drilling capabilities in harsh environments such as the North Sea and the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. After completing its refurbishment and upgrade, Frontier will operate the Explorer under a long-term contract with a major integrated oil company in the Gulf of Mexico.

Steven Webster, Co-Managing Partner of Avista Capital, said, "Avista's investment in Frontier represents an exciting opportunity to capitalize on the global shortage of offshore drilling rigs in response to the increase in worldwide oil and gas exploration and development activity. Frontier focuses on managing and operating equipment in market segments that are not dominated by larger competitors and in which Frontier's equipment has a competitive advantage, an approach that is a good fit within our targeted investment framework. Having partnered with Frontier's management team since 2002 at Frontier and previously at R&B Falcon, we are confident that management is adding significant value to the company, with the acquisition of the Explorer a great example."

Robert Fulton, Chief Executive Officer of Frontier Drilling USA, Inc., said, "After working with Steve Webster for many years, we are very pleased to have Avista Capital as a partner in Frontier. The Avista team's strong investment track record and energy expertise will bring significant value to us and our shareholders, especially as we look to reinforce our relationship with key customers."

About Frontier Drilling


With administrative headquarters based in Houston, Texas, Frontier Drilling is a provider of offshore drilling and production services for the oil industry. The company owns and operates in international markets a fleet of four offshore drilling units and one floating production, storage and off-loading vessel.

About Avista Capital Partners


Avista Capital Partners is a 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. http://www.avistacap.com

Media Contact


Diana Postemsky, Kekst and Company, 212-521-4805

Source PRN PR Newswire



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