AMPJE adds to Tuscan Energy investment

The UK private equity firm has provided further capital to Tuscan Energy, AMPJE’s largest Scottish investment.

Aberdeen Murray Johnstone Private Equity, the UK small and mid-market investor, has committed further funds to UK offshore oil business Tuscan Energy, following last month’s decision by the UK government to approve development of the Ardmore Field in the central area of the North Sea.


Tuscan was initially backed by AMPJE in February after the company secured a license to drill in the Ardmore Field, formerly known as Argyll, where oil production has been on hold since 1992. The current development will exploit recent technological changes to target previously developed but unrecovered oil reserves. Tuscan hopes to recover 20-25 million barrels of oil over a two-year period with first oil scheduled for late 2003.


The initial financing comprised £3m in equity from AMPJE. The latest investment increases the total to £35m, of which £7m has been provided by AMPJE, making it one of the firm’s largest transactions to date. The firm invests across a wide range of industry sectors investing up to a maximum of £15m.


Jock Gardiner, head of investment for AMJPE in Aberdeen said the deal was important for UK oil development. “It is one of our biggest deals to date and will lead to the extension of the productive life of the UK oil and gas industry, job creation and investment locally.”


The remainder of the financing has been provided by Trust Company West Group (TCW), a US subsidiary of French banking group SG which specialises in oil-related investments. It is the firm's first investment in the UK. TCW, with assets under management in excess of $80bn, has around 12 per cent of that amount ($10bn) committed to alternative assets.