Oaktree-backed DDH1 acquires Strike

DDH1, which is backed by Oaktree Capital Management LP, has acquired Strike Drilling Ltd LP, an air core and reverse circulation drilling services company in Western Australia. No financial terms were disclosed. Novo Capital advised DDH1 on the transaction.


CANNING VALE, Australia–(BUSINESS WIRE)–DDH1 Drilling Pty Ltd (“DDH1”), Australia’s leading deep directional drilling services company and portfolio company of funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management, L.P. (“Oaktree”), today announced that DDH1 has acquired equity in Strike Drilling Pty Ltd, L.P. (“Strike”), a leading air core and reverse circulation drilling services company operating in Western Australia.

DDH1’s deep directional coring and Strike’s air core and reverse circulation capabilities are highly complementary and the combination of their businesses enables them to offer clients the full suite of drilling services required across the resources life cycle, from discovering new deposits to extending existing mine lives. Like DDH1, Strike’s drill rig fleet is modern, standardized and highly productive.

As part of DDH1, Strike will retain its brand and continue to be managed by its experienced senior management team led by co-founder, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Richard Bennett. Strike will continue to advance its growth strategy and will provide expanded capacity and service capabilities to both DDH1’s and Strikes’ clients. DDH1 continues to seek acquisition opportunities of quality companies that are leaders in their particular field of drilling expertise.

DDH1 Managing Director, Murray Pollock commented, “DDH1 and Strike have worked closely together on a shared contract basis for three years, during which time we have observed Strike’s premium customer service offering, the productivity gains delivered by their modern dual capacity air core and reverse circulation fleet and quality management team led by Richard Bennett. Together, we are committed to being the drilling contractor and employer of choice in the Australian mining and exploration industry. Richard will join the DDH1 board, bringing his many years of drilling management experience and we look forward to his input. As the industry recovers following a long period of exploration drilling under spend, we feel the timing is perfect for DDH1 and Strike to capitalize on the great number of opportunities in a buoyant expanding market.”

Byron Beath, Managing Director of Oaktree, commented, “Strike represents a high growth addition to the DDH1 platform and demonstrates the execution of our strategy to partner with industry-leading operators like Richard Bennett. Strike’s combination of unique dual-purpose rigs and best-in-class drill crews presents an exciting opportunity for DDH1 to support material capacity growth to meet customer demand. What attracted us to Strike, like DDH1, was that it was able to grow capacity and customer demand during the recent downturn which is a testament to the high-quality, differentiated service offering provided by both of these companies. Since Oaktree’s investment DDH1 has now proven itself a premium aggregator in this space and has made strong progress toward achieving its strategic growth ambitions.”

DDH1 was advised by Novo Capital with acquisition funding arranged by Challenger Limited. Further financial terms were not disclosed.

About DDH1
DDH1 is the leading deep directional drilling services provider for Australia’s mining and exploration industry. Founded with one diamond core drilling rig in 2006, today the company operates a fleet of over fifty diamond coring rigs with operations spread across Western Australia, Northern Territory and Australia’s east coast. DDH1 provides custom designed drilling programs which deliver mineral core samples through a standardized rig fleet run by highly skilled rig operators. The company has pioneered deep directional drilling techniques in Australia and has a leading market position by capability, fleet size and reputation. For additional information, please visit DDH1’s website at www.ddh1.com.au.

About Strike
Strike is a leading air core and reverse circulation drilling contractor supporting clients with their West Australian exploration and resource definition requirements. Strike has grown organically since inception in 2013 to 8 rigs as of June 2018. The management team led by Richard Bennett has a long history of success in building and operating reverse circulation businesses including founding Peak Drilling Pty Limited in 2000 which was sold to Australian Drilling Solutions in 2008. For additional information, please visit Strike’s website at www.strikedrilling.com.au.

About Oaktree
Oaktree is a leader among global investment managers specializing in alternative investments, with US$121 billion in assets under management as of March 31, 2018. The firm emphasizes a value-oriented and risk-controlled approach to investments in credit, private equity, real assets and listed equities. Headquartered in Los Angeles, the firm has over 900 employees and offices in 18 cities worldwide, including a Sydney office established in 2016. For additional information, please visit Oaktree’s website at www.oaktreecapital.com.