US firm The Carlyle Group and London-based CVC Capital Partners are jointly funding Neptune Oil & Gas, a London-based entity that plans to make up to $5 billion (€4.5 billion; £3.3 billion) of investments into the sector, according to a joint statement.
The new company, headed by the former chief executive of UK energy company Centrica, Sam Laidlaw, will target opportunities in the North Sea, North Africa and South East Asia. The company plans to acquire assets to build a 70,000-100,000 barrels a day exploration and production company, according to reports.
The split between the private equity investors and the sums invested were undisclosed and spokesperson for Carlyle declined to comment. Spokespeople for CVC and Neptune could not be reached.
“We have known Sam Laidlaw for many years and believe the timing is now favourable to pursue this venture in partnership with Sam and Carlyle,” CVC managing partner Rob Lucas said in the statement.
Carlyle’s portion of the investment will be channelled through its Carlyle International Energy Partners (CIEP) fund. The fund, which targets oil and gas assets outside North America, announced its final close in March 2015 at $2.5 billion and in excess of its original target of $1.5 billion, as reported earlier by Private Equity International. Across its energy-focused funds, Carlyle has $10 billion to deploy.