GSO seals $513m oil and gas exit

Blackstone’s debt affiliate will sell Bear Tracker Energy to Summit Midstream Partners less than three years after investing $200m in the business. GSO invested or committed more than $1bn to energy investments in 2012.

GSO Capital Partners, best known as the strong-performer debt shop of The Blackstone Group, will sell oil and gas company Bear Tracker Energy to Energy Capital Partners-backed Summit Midstream Partners for $513 million. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2013.

Colorado-based Bear Tracker specialises in oil and natural gas services, including gathering and processing. GSO acquired a majority stake in Bear Tracker in 2010, investing up to $200 million from its Capital Opportunities Fund alongside the company’s management team.

GSO has remained active in the energy sector during the past two years and invested or committed more than $1 billion to the strategy in 2012. The firm is in the process of raising its GSO Capital Solutions Fund II, having collected $3 billion toward a $4 billion target, according to data provider Private Equity Connect.

Energy Capital Partners formed Summit Midstream in 2009 to focus on North American oil and gas assets. Energy Capital sold an 11 percent stake in Summit Midstream in 2011 to GE Energy Financial Services, but remains the majority owner of the company.

Energy-focused private equity firms invested heavily in oil and natural gas assets in 2012. One of the most active groups has been Riverstone Holdings, which announced its ninth investment from its Riverstone Global Energy and Power Fund V last September. The fund, Riverstone’s first since concluding its relationship with The Carlyle Group in 2011, has raised more than $5 billion toward a $6 billion target.