LONDON, February 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Saipem S.A and investment partnerships affiliated with Hellman & Friedman LLC ("H&F"), executed a definitive agreement under which H&F will acquire Saipem's 30% ownership stake in Gaztransport & Technigaz S.A.S. ("GTT") for EUR310 million. GTT is the leading marine engineering company operating in the liquefied natural gas ("LNG") sector and is based near Paris in Saint-Remy-les-Chevreuse and has over 200 employees.

Saipem is the leading international turnkey contractor operating in the oil and gas industries. H&F is a leading global private equity group specialising in service sectors including financial services, software, media, energy and industrial services. The interests of Gaz de France S.A. and Total S.A. in GTT will remain unchanged with ownership stakes of 40% and 30% respectively.

GTT is a highly-specialised marine technology company occupying a leadership position in the engineering and design of membrane containment systems for the storage and transportation of LNG on ships. The Company provides design know-how and expertise to all the major LNG ship builders and ship operators in the world.

Patrick Healy, head of H&F's business in Europe said: "Over our 24 year history we have made more than 30 minority investments alongside large corporates, private entrepreneurs and family businesses. We are delighted to become a shareholder in GTT with Gaz de France and Total and are committed to helping the current management team in further growing and developing the business. We are grateful to Saipem, Gaz de France and Total for selecting us as the purchaser and supporting us through this process."

Luca Velussi, Director of H&F said: "GTT's business sits at the intersection of our energy and technology practices and our expertise in investing in people businesses. We believe GTT occupies a unique position in the LNG value chain with unparalleled track record in the development of membrane containment systems."

Lehman Brothers assisted Saipem S.A. while H&F was advised by UBS.

About Hellman & Friedman

Hellman & Friedman LLC is a global private equity investment firm with offices in London, New York and San Francisco. Since its founding in 1984, the Firm has raised and managed approximately US$16 billion of committed capital. The Firm's strategy is to invest in superior business franchises and to be a value-added partner to management in select industries including energy, media, financial services, professional services, and information services. Representative investments include Texas Genco, DoubleClick, Inc., the NASDAQ Stock Market, Inc. (NDAQ), Gartmore Investment Management Limited, Axel Springer AG (ASV GR), ProSieben Sat.1 AG (PSM GR), Formula One Holdings, Ltd, LPL Holdings, Mondrian Investment Partners, Ltd., AlixPartners, and others.

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