Carlyle/Riverstone, TPG in $271m energy deal

The private equity firms complete the merger of oil and gas exploration company Mariner Energy with an affiliate of the private equity funds.

Washington DC-based Acon Investments, an affiliate of Fort Worth, Texas buyout giant Texas Pacific Group, and the Carlyle/Riverstone Global Energy and Power Fund II, a joint venture between New York-based private equity energy specialist Riverstone Holdings and Washington DC-based private equity powerhouse The Carlyle Group, have acquired Mariner Energy from bankrupt Enron through one of their portfolio holdings in a $271.1 million (€222 million) deal.

 

A group of banks led by The Union Bank of California and BNP Paribas provided debt financing for the transaction, according to a press statement. The capital investment will be used to repay Mariner’s existing debt.

Mariner Energy, headquartered in Houston, Texas, has operations in western Texas and the Gulf of Mexico. The company specializes in offshore oil and gas exploration and production, though Mariner also has onshore production operations on the Gulf Coast.  The company filed to go public in 2000 but withdrew two years later. Enron had been seeking to sell its stake in the company for quite some time.

Mariner’s current management team will continue to operate the company, headed by chief executive officer Scott Josey, the statement said.

 

“We were attracted to Mariner because it combines the stable cash flows generated by the onshore West Texas reserves with the growth potential from its exploration activities in the Gulf,” Acon managing director Jonathan Ginns said in the statement.

 

Founded in 1996, Acon Investments manages approximately $700 million in capital. The firm manages private equity funds and special purpose investment partnerships with investments in the US, Europe and Latin America.

 

Riverstone Holdings is an energy- and power-focused private equity firm with more than $1.2 billion under managements. The Carlyle Group currently has more than $17.5 billion under management.