Sterling Partners Completes Majority Investment in Desert NDT

April 2, 2012

Growth Investment Expected to Benefit from Rising Domestic Oil and Gas Production, Demand for Pipeline Integrity

Odessa, Texas, March 30, 2012 – Desert Industrial X-Ray, L.P., one of the nation’s leading independent, privately held non-destructive testing (NDT) companies, has received a majority investment from Sterling Partners, a Chicago-based private equity firm with approximately $5 billion in assets under management. Going forward, Desert Industrial will operate as Desert NDT, which will include all of the company’s operations, facilities, equipment, management and field personnel. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Desert, based in Odessa, Texas, and serving customers primarily in the Southwest, has provided integrity management services to the oil-and-gas industry for more than 20 years. Desert’s non-destructive testing solutions span the entire life cycle of oil and gas assets, from initial installation through ongoing integrity program management.

“We greatly appreciate the hard work and quality services provided by our employees, the support of our vendors and the confidence of our customers,” said Doug Frey, CEO of Desert NDT. “With Sterling’s assistance, we look forward to expanding these excellent relationships as we move forward.”

“Our investment in Desert NDT is consistent with our strategy of backing leading companies in growing industries,” commented Sterling Managing Director Alan Macksey. “Surging U.S. oil and natural-gas production has increased demand for reliable non-destructive testing of pipelines and midstream infrastructure. We look forward to working with the Desert management team to grow the company both organically and through acquisitions, and we have allocated substantial additional capital to support this growth.”

“Desert NDT has a well-defined purpose of Safety, Quality and Service that has guided the Company’s growth for over 20 years. We are excited to partner with Desert NDT as we look to leverage the platform into new regions and to broaden the service offering,” said Sterling Vice President Mike Drai.

Sterling Partners has a history of successful investments in the energy and industrial sector. Sterling first entered this sector in 2003, with its investment in Liberty Propane. Liberty completed 29 acquisitions over the course of Sterling’s ownership, with Sterling contributing substantial capital until selling to a public company in 2009. Other investments included the 2004 acquisition of Atlantic Scaffolding that was sold to The Brock Group, and more recently, the 2010 purchase of GEM Mobile Treatment Systems, a provider of de-gassing and vapor control services for oil refineries and terminals.

About Desert NDT

Desert, founded in Odessa, TX in 1989, started as a welding X-Ray company and has evolved into a full service non-destructive testing company. It now offers ultrasonic testing, digital X-Ray and integrity management services in addition to the traditional X-Ray testing. Desert’s non-destructive testing services ensure the safe installation and operation of new gathering pipelines and other midstream oil & gas infrastructure. For more information please visit

About Sterling Partners

Sterling Partners is a private equity firm with a distinct point of view on how to build great companies. Founded in 1983, Sterling has invested billions of dollars, guided by the company’s stated purpose: INSPIRED GROWTH™, which describes Sterling’s approach to buying differentiated businesses and growing them in inspired ways. Sterling focuses on investing growth capital in small and mid-market companies in industries with positive, long-term trends – education, healthcare, and business services.  Sterling provides valuable support to the management teams of the companies in which the firm invests through a deep and dedicated team of operations and functional experts based in the firm’s offices in Chicago, Baltimore, and Miami.

The people at Sterling believe in ideas and ideals, in people and partnerships that drive long-term success.  For more information please visit