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St. Louis Businessman James Mills' Empeiria Acquisition Corp. Completes Merger With Drilling Rig Manufacturer

ST. LOUIS, Jan. 7, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Empeiria Acquisition Corp. ("EAC"), a blank check company chaired by St. Louis businessman James N. Mills, announced today it has completed its business combination with Integrated Drilling Equipment Company Holdings Inc. ("IDE"), an established manufacturer of drilling rigs and rig components and provider of rig refurbishment and reconfiguration services to contract drilling companies worldwide. Mr. Mills remains chairman of the combined company, which will continue to be traded publicly under the ticker "EPAQ."

Mr. Mills, along with his partners at Empeiria Capital Partners, a private equity firm focused on the industrial, food and consumer products, energy, and transportation sectors, formed EAC in January 2011. Structured as a SPAC, or special purpose acquisition company, EAC raised $60 million in an initial public offering in June 2011 with the intention of acquiring an operating business with strong fundamentals.

In October 2012, EAC announced its intention to merge with Houston-based IDE. Mr. Mills and his partners were attracted to IDE because of the company's expertise in manufacturing state-of-the-art drilling rigs to meet the demands of modern drilling. In addition, they were impressed with IDE's ability to customize rigs in a cost-effective and efficient way and its significant revenue growth.

"Throughout my career, I have always taken a 'buy-and-build' approach to investing. I look for strong businesses and work with them to realize their value," said Mr. Mills. "IDE had all the hallmarks of an investment I like. As oil and gas companies increase their development of complex and unconventional resources, the demand for high-specification rigs will continue to grow. I believe that IDE is well-positioned to capitalize on that trend." 

Mr. Mills added, "We are looking forward to helping IDE grow both organically and through additional acquisitions when the right opportunities arise."

Mr. Mills has over 40 years of operating experience in senior and corporate level positions with a variety of successful major manufacturing companies. In addition to his duties at Empeiria Capital Partners and EAC, Mr. Mills also serves as Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Mills & Partners, Inc., a management and investment firm that specializes in the acquisition and operation of commercial and industrial manufacturing companies, since its formation in 1985.

Mr. Mills has, in the past, served as Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of each of the Mills & Partners portfolio companies, including Clarke Floor Equipment, Palco Industries, Wirekraft Industries, Berg Electronics, Jackson Products, Crain Holdings, International Wire Group, and Viasystems Group. Mr. Mills also previously served on the board of directors of Conner Steel Products, a manufacturer of equipment for the oil and gas industry from June 2006 to May 2011.

Mr. Mills is also active in the community, having worked with several organizations, including the National Sudden Infant Death Syndrome Foundation, the National Aid to Visually Handicapped Children, the American Management Association, the President's Council of St. Louis University, and the Presidents' Association of the American Management Association.

About IDE

IDE and its predecessor companies have been active in providing services and products to the drilling industry since 1981. IDE's principal service and product offerings consist of the construction of new land rigs based on IDE designs or customized to customers' specifications; providing extensive reconfiguration and refurbishment services for land rigs to repair and extend their life or to adapt them for different drilling environments; providing offshore rig upgrade packages, refurbishment services, and related components for offshore newbuild rigs; supplying integrated electrical systems and control systems for a wide range of land and offshore drilling rigs; and providing engineered hydraulic rig solutions.

For more information on IDE, please visit:

About EAC

EAC was formed on January 24, 2011 for the purpose of acquiring one or more operating business or assets through a merger, capital stock exchange, asset acquisition, stock purchase, reorganization, exchangeable share transaction or other similar business transaction (an "initial business transaction").  The merger with IDE constituted EAC's initial business transaction.

Forward-Looking Statements

In addition to historical information, this release may contain a number of "forward-looking statements" as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.  Words such as "anticipate," "expect," "project," "intend," "plan," "believe," and words and terms of similar substance used in connection with any discussion of future plans, actions, or events identify forward-looking statements.  Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to: statements about the benefits of the merger; the combined company's plans, objectives, expectations, estimates and intentions; and other statements that are not historical facts.  Forward-looking statements involve estimates, expectations and projections and, as a result, are subject to risks and uncertainties.  There can be no assurance that actual results will not materially differ from expectations.  Important factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements. Additional risks and uncertainties are identified and discussed in EAC's reports filed with the SEC and available at the SEC's website at  Forward-looking statements included in this release speak only as of the date of this release.  EAC undertakes no obligation to update its forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this release.

Alan B. Menkes
Empeiria Acquisition Corp.


KCSA Strategic Communications
Rob Fink / Brad Nelson
212-896-1206 / 212-896-1217
[email protected] / [email protected]

SOURCE Empeiria Acquisition Corp.

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