Denham Capital closes global energy fund on $2bn

The Boston-based commodities specialist has hit the hard-cap on its first independently raised fund since spinning out of collapsed hedge fund Sowood Capital last year.

Denham Capital Management has hit the $2 billion (€1.3 billion) hard-cap on its fifth global energy and commodities fund, surpassing its original target of $1.75 billion.

The latest fund, the Boston-based firm’s first independently raised vehicle since spinning out of failed hedge fund Sowood Capital last summer, will target investments in the oil and gas, mining, timber and power industries as well as carbon assets and energy-related infrastructure.

Led by Stu Porter, former commodities director for the $41 billion Harvard endowment, Denham nearly doubled its previous $1.24 billion fund raised in 2006. The firm did not employ a placement agent in raising the latest vehicle, according to a source familiar with the offering.

Denham could not be reached for comment.  

Formed in 2004 as Sowood’s in-house private equity energy unit, Denham has successfully retained much of its original investor base, returning 90 percent of existing limited partners for the latest fund, despite Sowood closing shop in July 2007 after losing billions in the subprime mortgage meltdown.  

The firm has elevated its capital under management to $4.3 billion since the spin-out and just last November tapped Nomura International veteran Louis Van Pletsen to open its London office. Denham says it is planning on launching a Sao Paulo unit later this year.

Denham typically targets investments in the $50 million to $250 million range across all stages of business development. The firm currently holds interests in portfolio companies in the US, Canada, South America, the Caucuses, Russia, Asia and Australia.

Last month, the firm announced a $200 million partnership with SunRay Renewable Energy, a Malta-based solar energy developer, to finance the construction of several solar parks and rooftop installations.