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Avista Capital Partners Enhances Energy Practice With Appointment of Gerhard Kurz
Date:2/27/2008

NEW YORK, Feb. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Avista Capital Partners, a leading private equity firm, today announced that it has hired Gerhard Kurz, a 40-year veteran of the offshore energy service and marine transportation industry, as an Industry Advisor.

Mr. Kurz was most recently President and Chief Executive Officer of Seabulk International, Inc., a provider of marine support and transportation services, in which the Avista team invested while at DLJ Merchant Banking Partners. During his five-year tenure at Seabulk, Mr. Kurz drove a twofold increase in EBITDA through improved operational performance and expansion into new business segments. Seabulk merged with SEACOR Holdings Inc. in 2005 at a share price representing an increase of more than 200% over the price when Mr. Kurz took the helm.

Mr. Kurz joined Seabulk following a 36-year career at Mobil Corporation, where he held positions of increasing responsibility in logistics, Middle East planning and marine transportation, with the last 11 years spent as President of Mobil Shipping and Transportation Company.

Steven Webster, Co-Managing Partner and President of Avista, said, "Gerhard has a well-deserved reputation as a leader in the shipping industry. He enjoyed a long and highly successful career at Mobil, where he undertook such demanding initiatives as rebuilding Mobil's tanker fleet through joint venture partnerships. When he became CEO of Seabulk, Gerhard met head on the challenges of revitalizing a smaller, resource-constrained company, and succeeded in delivering an excellent performance. As the lead investor in Seabulk, our team worked closely with Gerhard. We were very impressed with his leadership and gratified to realize such a successful investment. We look forward to the expertise Gerhard now brings to Avista and are excited to partner with him on new investment opportunities going forward."

Mr. Kurz added, "After having had such a positive experience working with the Avis
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SOURCE Avista Capital Partners
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