CEO quits Apollo-backed Express Energy

Darron Anderson, the chief executive officer of oilfield services company Express Energy Services, which was acquired by Apollo Global Management last year, has resigned, a source said.

Anderson’s departure, which happened on Aug. 28, comes amid a decline in the company’s earnings as oil prices remain stuck under $50 a barrel. WTI Crude hovered around $45.44 a barrel on September 1.

Express Energy has named company Chairman Mark Reese interim CEO, according to a person with knowledge of the move. Reese joined the company earlier this year.

Anderson joined the company in 2005, made CEO in 2008 and helped the company move through a restructuring process. Energy Express, founded in 2000, had been acquired by an Australian institutional investor from its founders earlier in 2008, which loaded the company with debt that became unsustainable after the global financial crash, Anderson said in a 2013 interview with Oil & Gas Financial Journal.

The company moved through a quick, pre-packaged bankruptcy process and emerged in 2010. Apollo bought Express Energy Services in October for $325 million, for about a 5x purchase price multiple, according to a source. Trailing EBITDA over the prior 12 months was hovering around $65 million at the time of the acquisition, the source said. Trailing last 12 months EBITDA is about $20 million today, the source said.

At the time of the acquisition, Express Energy employed about 1,700 people, according to a statement from the company.

Apollo bought the company as part of an oil field services platform. The firm, like other large publicly traded private equity firms, has taken some hard hits from the decline in oil prices over the past year. Apollo reported in February that its fourth quarter profit fell by 79 percent, driven in part by losses in its energy holdings, the New York Times reported.

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