Press Release

February 08, 2010

Gulf Capital acquires 50% of Gulf Marine Services LLC (“GMS”), a leading jack-up barge and support vessel operating company in the UAE

Gulf Capital, a leading regional alternative investment firm, announced that it has acquired a 50% stake in Gulf Marine Services LLC (“GMS”), one of the largest jack-up barge and support vessel operating company in the UAE with presence throughout the Gulf.

Commenting on the acquisition, Dr Karim El Solh, Chief Executive Officer of Gulf Capital said: “Gulf Capital has been actively targeting investments in the booming regional oil & gas industry. GMS is a recognized leading operator of jack-up barges in this fast-growing sector in the UAE and is well on its way to becoming the dominant player in the Gulf region. The GMS transaction is the latest in a string of acquisitions that allows Gulf Capital to capitalize on the unprecedented growth in the off-shore oil & gas sector.”

The current and forecasted strong demand for oil & gas has put pressure on national and international oil companies to increase offshore exploration and production activities. It is estimated that $ 55 billion will be invested in this sector in the Middle East over the next five years. This will lead to a significant increase in offshore drilling activities which will result in a surge in Jack-up drilling rigs utilization rates and daily rates to an all time high.

The increase in drilling activity will need to be complemented with an increase in well maintenance programs to maintain production levels of existing wells. While Oil Operating Companies generally rely on drilling rigs to perform well intervention services, they are seeking more efficient and cost effective solutions to perform this work and reduce reliance on drilling rigs. The self propelled Jackup service barges represent an ideal solution for performing the well intervention services as they can be operated at a fraction of the daily rates of the drilling rigs. It is estimated that the demand for such solutions barges will double over the next five years in the GCC region and GMS is well positioned to capitalize on this trend.

GMS offers a complete range of marine and engineering services that provide the adequate support for marine and offshore well intervention operations. GMS’ future strategy is based on increasing its fleet of jack-up barges and on embarking on a regional expansion to meet the future demand in the GCC.

To develop its growth strategy, GMS required significant investments in capital and operational expenditures. GMS’ shareholders decided that Gulf Capital with its industry expertise and regional network, large capital and diversified investor base was the ideal partner to help the company achieve its ambitious targets. Abdallah Abdul Jalil Al Fahim, Chairman of GMS, said: “We are excited about the positive impact Gulf Capital will have on our growth prospects. We look forward to their active participation in our board and their help with strategic relationships, acquisitions and regional expansion. Gulf Capital’s investment is a strong demonstration of their confidence in our operation, strategy, and our future growth plans.”

Commenting on the transaction, Wassim Assaad, Principal, Gulf Capital said: “With the backing of Gulf Capital, GMS is in an ideal position to capitalize on the unique opportunities presented by the booming oil and gas industry in the region. We are confident that GMS will maintain and grow its lead as one of the largest solutions provider in the well intervention business in the Gulf region.”