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Energy services cash in on oil's rise Add to ...

Energy services firms typically don't steal headlines because they are behind the scenes, making sure the big-name producers are able to get their product out of the ground or transported to where it needs to go. But they, too, are benefiting from oil's meteoric rise.

Riding high on the current boom, Secure Energy Services has announced its acquisition of Marquis Alliance Energy Group, which specializes in drilling fluids. Secure likes the deal because it expands its fluids business, allowing it to offer more recycled fluids and make its waste handling more efficient. That's a good thing because there are tighter environmental standards these days.

At $131-million, the deal size isn't astronomical, but Marquis is the second-largest Canadian drilling fluid company, so it's big in that world. Going forward, Marquis shareholders will own 12 per cent of Secure.

Bankers have also been able to cash in, because there is an equity offering on the back of the purchase. Of the total purchase price, $66-million is paid in cash, and Secure sold $75-million of common shares Wednesday morning to fund this portion.

FirstEnergy was lead dealer for the offering, marking a double-win for the Calgary-based investment bank because it was also lead adviser on the takeover.

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