Frank’s International: A business goes public but keeps family roots

Frank's International CEO Donald Mosing.

Frank’s International CEO Donald Mosing.

Frank’s International, which provides tubing that oil companies use in well construction, was a family-run business for 75 years.

It ceded some of that control to the market earlier this month with an initial public offering that netted nearly $712 million in proceeds. The company is mum on whether it plans any major acquisitions.

Frank’s is incorporated in the Netherlands but has its principal U.S. offices in Houston.

CEO Donald Keith Mosing started working at age 14 for Frank’s Casing Crew & Rental, founded in 1938 by his grandfather, Frank Mosing. The younger Mosing, who goes by his middle name, later formed his own company, which merged with his grandfather’s and now is Frank’s International.

Mosing family members retain a majority of the shares in the company after the public offering, a spokeswoman said.

Keith Mosing has been on the road for the last few weeks, talking up the company to investors and answering questions from employees and customers.

He spoke recently with the Houston Chronicle about the company’s roots, its goals, the initial public offering and his family’s legacy. Edited excerpts:

Q. What does Frank’s International do and how does it do it?

A. We are an oil field service company. We’ve been around 75 years. We’re mainly in the tubular running services business. Tubular comes in 40-foot sections. It’s the process of screwing them together every 40 feet and it may run 20,000 to 25,000 feet. It takes a lot of time to screw all this pipe together. It’s used for casing in wells.”

Q. How many employees do you have? How many are in Houston, other places?

A. We have 4,100 employees, 60 different countries, 90 different service centers, about 350 employees in Houston and Alvin.

Q. What are the roots of the company?

A. It was founded by my grandfather. I’m the third generation. It was originally Frank’s Casing Crew. In 1981, I formed the international company, and we just changed the name and merged the two companies together about a year ago.

Q. The company has been around since 1938 and has been privately held. Why launch an initial public offering now?

A. The Mosing family have all kind of gone their different directions. To stay on point and grow the company in the future and to attract management and to make the company grow, I think this is the right thing to do.

Q. What do you plan to do with the proceeds?

A. Pay off corporate debt and general purposes.

Q. How has Frank Mosing shaped what the company is today?

A. He passed on some time back. I like to think we still have the same ethics and honesty and just kind of stay with those traditions he set.

Q. Since the company has been family owned since its early days, did that present any challenges in taking it public and giving up at least some of the family’s control?

A. No. The family is 100 percent behind this thing. There’s never been a family problem. The family has always been tight, close-knit. Everybody’s very happy about it. We could have sold out, but we wanted to honor Frank Mosing and my father, Donald Mosing, and everything they’ve done to build the company. We want to keep the name intact. I think this is the best thing to do.

Q. So, where do you go from here?

A. We’ll keep doing business as usual. Employees will be the same and the customers can expect the same good service they always have had for the last 75 years.