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Drillform Technical Services, an automated drilling technology company from Calgary, secures financing from BDC Capital


CALGARY —Drillform Technical Services of Calgary, Alberta has obtained a significant investment from BDC Capital’s Growth & Transition Capital division to fund its next stage of growth. Drillform is an export-driven engineering and technology company which designs and manufactures cutting edge robotic equipment for land and offshore rigs. Drillform’s integrated IP suite includes pipe handling equipment, top drives, and power slips. These precision tools improve speed, workplace safety and data collection to enhance asset performance and reduce maintenance costs. The company was founded in 2010 by Pat McDougall and Todd McCorriston, who were later joined in 2018 by Mark Taggart and Jesse McDougall. The first three combine several decades of experience in the drilling equipment sector, including founding, growing and exiting previous ventures, notably Pragma Drilling (sold to Canrig Drilling Technologies) and Rangeland Drilling Automation (sold to Triwest Capital Partners). Drillform’s primary markets include Canada, the Middle East and the United States. From their offices in these markets, the company also has the ability to service the drilling industry globally.

BDC Capital’s investment completes an earlier capital raise that was led by long-standing Alberta private equity firm, Longbow Capital. BDC Capital’s contribution comes in the form of a non-dilutive patient quasi-equity loan that has been customized to the company’s needs, including a flexible repayment structure allowing for the company to invest in growth projects while maintaining the integrity of their working capital. The new funds are intended notably for the development of new equipment prototypes to add to the company’s suite of products, for ongoing R&D and for the fulfillment, as needed, of new purchase orders.

“We are excited to partner with BDC Capital for the next leg of our growth,” says Todd McCorriston, President and CEO of Drillform. “Drillform was selected for a large offshore Middle Eastern project, validating our technology for use in the most challenging conditions, our successful integration with premium pipe and highlighting our step-changes in precision and safety. With BDC Capital’s investment, Drillform can expand autonomous drilling solutions to remove personnel from the red zones and enhance operational performance.”

This transaction was led by Matthew Hanson, Director, Growth & Transition Capital at BDC Capital’s Calgary office. “Drillform is managed by a highly accomplished team whose previous ventures have produced hundreds of pieces of automated drilling equipment that are in operation today around the world,” declares Hanson. “Drillform’s products improve on current industry offerings by providing increased automation, safety, reliability and durability, reducing total cost of ownership for the driller, while still being priced in line with the market.”

“Longbow Capital’s involvement in Drillform is another element that attracted us to this transaction,” adds Vern Malcolm, Managing Director, Growth & Transition Capital for Southern Alberta at BDC Capital. “We’ve invested with Longbow before and value their entrepreneurialism, deep domain expertise and the high-level of support they bring to their portfolio companies.”

About Drillform Technical Services

Drillform was founded in 2010 by a team of industry professionals to design, manufacture and service automated drilling equipment. Drillform’s team launched Pragma in 2001 which successfully designed a ground-breaking suite of automated catwalks and floor wrenches. Over 1,300 pieces of Pragma equipment have been sold and distributed globally. Pragma sold to Canrig in 2006. Drillform’s team have an extensive record of achievement in drilling equipment design including the first commercially successful slant drilling rig/pipe arm, the first commercially successful automated pushup catwalk, the first fully automated floor wrench incorporating drill pipe selection from the drillers screen and one of the first fully automated service rig designs. Headquartered in Calgary, Canada, Drillform has worldwide locations including service and operation facilities in West Texas and Abu Dhabi, UAE.

About BDC Capital

BDC Capital is the investment arm of BDC—Canada’s only bank devoted exclusively to entrepreneurs. With more than $3 billion under management, BDC Capital serves as a strategic partner to the country’s most innovative firms. It offers a full spectrum of risk capital, from seed investments to transition capital, supporting Canadian entrepreneurs who wish to scale their businesses into global champions. Visit bdc.ca/capital.

About Longbow Capital

Longbow Capital Inc. is a Calgary-based private equity investment manager that invests across the energy sector. Longbow seeks to invest in innovative companies that are doing things differently; companies that help bring energy to the world in the most efficient, cost effective and environmentally responsible manner. Since being founded in 1997, Longbow has been a long-term strategic partner and an engaged and effective shareholder in over 150 high-growth investments. Visit www.longbowcapital.com.

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