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Clearlake’s IronGate, Knight Merger Expands North American Oil, Gas Rental Services

Private equity giant Clearlake Capital Group LP is merging portfolio companies IronGate Energy Services and Knight Oil Tools to create Knight Energy Services as one of the largest independent oil and gas rental tool companies in North America.

The merged company, to be headquartered in Houston, would provide rental and tubular services, manufacturing packages, drilling jars, inspection, hardbanding and safety training to onshore and offshore exploration and production (E&P) companies.

IronGate CEO Dwight Gross has been named CEO, while IronGate CFO Kirk Brassfield continues as financial chief.

“By combining the leading provider of rental and tubular services to E&P operators with one of the largest privately held rental tool companies in the oil and gas industry, we have created a full-service rental powerhouse that meets the end-to-end needs of the energy industry,” Gross said.

“Clearlake has brought tremendous strategic vision and financial support, and as a combined company with a stronger balance sheet, we look forward to new opportunities as we continue to provide our customers with the highest levels of attention and service.”

The combination is a “natural fit,” said Clearlake co-founder José E. Feliciano and partner Colin Leonard. “With an experienced management team and greater financial strength, the new Knight Energy offers oil and gas customers a complete line of rental solutions.”

Clearlake in 2013 acquired the rental and tubular divisions of Archer Ltd. and rebranded the company as IronGate Energy Services. IronGate works in Louisiana, North Dakota, Oklahoma and Texas, deploying specialized equipment and operators to perform a variety of pipe handling services that include installing casing and tubing, breaking out drill pipe, retrieving production tubing for onshore/offshore drilling and workover operations.

Tubular services are provided by IronGate in South Texas, as well as in Youngsville, LA, and Elk City, OK. Rental services in Texas are offered in Andrews, Midland and Victoria, and it also offers rental services in Morgan City, LA, and Williston, ND.

Following a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing by Lafayette, LA-based Knight Oil Tools, Clearlake stepped in last year to help restructure the company in partnership with the management team, the Knight family and other existing stakeholders.

Knight works in Alaska, Colorado, Louisiana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah and Wyoming. Knight Oil predecessor Knight Specialities originated in Morgan City, LA, from the truck of founder Eddy Knight’s car, the company noted. The tool company evolved to provide complete rental, fishing, manufacturing packages, drilling jars, inspection, hardbanding and safety training to the oil and gas industry.

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