Avista seals $55m natural gas deal

The energy-, health- and media-focused US growth investor has once again partnered with US oil and gas specialist EnCap Investments. The latest investment comes three months after the two firms invested $245m in Gulf of Mexico JV Royal Offshore.

Avista Capital Partners has invested $55 million for an undisclosed stake in Laredo Energy’s eponymous fourth Texan natural gas company.

Avista’s investment is part of a $135 million injection into Laredo, which includes commitments from the company’s current investors EnCap Investments. It will be used to finance the acquisition, exploration and development of natural gas resources in South Texas’ Lobo Trend.

Lobo Trend: “high return, low risk”

Current investors in the company include EnCap and a selection of individuals, who backed the company’s formation in August 2006. The parent company, which is led by president and co-founder Glenn Hart, is based in Houston, Texas and was founded in 2001.

Stephen Webster, co-managing partner of Avista and a director of Laredo, described the Lobo trend as a “region characterised by high return, low-risk opportunities with high drilling success rates”.

This is not the first energy investment US firm Avista Capital Partners has made alongside EnCap Investments. In July, the two firms partnered to lead a $350 million commitment to Royal Offshore, a joint venture to develop oil and natural gas properties in the Gulf of Mexico.