Aclaria Capital arranges $10m debt financing for Air Drilling Associates

Aclaria Capital arranges $10m debt financing for Air Drilling Associates Air Drilling Associates, company website snapshot (source: Air Drilling)
Alexander Richter 22 Mar 2011

Private equity firm Aclaria Capital arranges US$10m growth debt financing for Air Drilling Associates, a geothermal drilling services firm with global activities that help lower costs and provide less environmental impact than conventional drilling methods.

In a release by the company, “Aclaria Capital announces it has arranged the financing of Air Drilling Associates, a leading geothermal energy services provider.

Aclaria Capital, a specialist middle-market private equity firm focused on resource productivity and environmental sustainability, announces the completion of a $10 million growth financing of Air Drilling Associates, Inc., a geothermal drilling services company.

Air Drilling Associates is a global market leader in the application of specific technology towards the efficient drilling of geothermal and oil & gas wells. Its technology allows wells in complex geological situations to be drilled more quickly, with lower cost and less environmental impact than conventional drilling methods. Particularly applicable to geothermal wells, Air Drilling’s approach offers additional benefits when the wells are operational, such as enhanced productivity.

Air Drilling represents a typical target investment opportunity for Aclaria Capital, which is one of the few private equity firms specializing in late-stage growth capital and buyout transactions involving environmentally sustainable and resource-efficient businesses.

Differentiated from the many early-stage venture and growth capital investors targeting clean technologies, Aclaria focuses on established businesses with proven technologies generating demonstrated revenue and cash flow.

Gautam Barua, Managing Partner and co-founder of Aclaria Capital said: “We are very proud to support the management team of Air Drilling Associates in the further growth of their business through this transaction. Air Drilling Associates is a solid company that has been successfully run by a team that has decades of experience in this line of business.

With its strong market position, history of profitable operation, and significant exposure to a key part of the value chain in the geothermal energy market worldwide, Air Drilling Associates is a truly on-strategy company for Aclaria.

Based on our deep knowledge of the energy markets, we have a particular interest in geothermal power. This renewable energy source features well-proven technology, cost competitiveness with fossil fuels, and ability to reliably deliver continuous ‘baseload’ power.

Beyond the last several years’ robust growth of geothermal power capacity around the world, the potential exists for adding significantly more capacity than currently exists, as evidenced by the planned doubling of geothermal capacity over the next five years.”

Alex Shivananda, Managing Partner and co-founder of Aclaria Capital added: “The investment demonstrates our execution capability and ability to add value through our specialist focus, transatlantic footprint, and network of relationships.

Thanks to our experience in the relevant industries and in middle-market sized transactions, we were able to quickly identify and assess the opportunity, and thereafter effectively communicate with Air Drilling management to structure a deal. Our private equity and financing skills and relationships proved instrumental in effecting this complex international transaction.

We see many more opportunities to apply our specialist skills to make solid investments and create value.”

Chaman Malhotra, CEO and Chairman of Air Drilling Associates stated: “We are very pleased to have worked with Aclaria on this financing, which strengthens our position for significant further growth in both the geothermal and oil & gas segments worldwide. The Aclaria team has been a valued and professional partner to us in successfully completing this transaction.”

Don Wells, President of Air Drilling Associates, commented: “With their tangible industry knowledge and international footprint and network, the Aclaria Capital team was quickly able to understand our business and adapt a financing package to fit our business needs.”

Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. provided debt for the transaction to meet Air Drilling Associates’ financial needs through a joint collaboration between its Global Banking and Clean Tech business lines.

Air Drilling Associates is a drilling services company based in New Mexico, USA. It operates globally, with significant operations throughout the U.S., Asia Pacific, the Middle East, Europe, and Latin America. Its client base consists of a diversified group of firms involved in the exploration and development of geothermal energy and oil & gas reservoirs. The management team has over thirty years of experience in the industry, having run and sold a similar predecessor firm prior to founding Air Drilling Associates in 2002. Air Drilling Associates operates an equipment fleet that ranks among the youngest and most modern in the industry, and maintains a strong commitment to quality, safety, health and the environment through adherence to the strictest regulatory and ISO requirements. Company website:

Aclaria Capital is a specialist middle-market private equity firm focused on late-stage growth capital and buyout transactions. Its sector-focused approach targets product-, service-, and asset-based businesses in North America and Europe that benefit from strong secular trends towards energy security, resource management, and environmental sustainability. Addressing this underserved market segment, Aclaria focuses on small- and medium sized companies, with strong management teams, demonstrated cash flows, and proven technologies. Through an experienced team that combines industry knowledge and international networks of relationships, with professional middle-market private equity skills, Aclaria Capital adds value by identifying and unlocking opportunities to help management teams grow their businesses and profitability. Aclaria Capital has offices in San Francisco and Amsterdam.Company Website:

Source: Announcement via e-mail