Helios puts brakes on oil and gas sidecar

The pan-Africa fund was looking to raise $300m for the vehicle to co-invest alongside its flagship funds.

Helios Investment Partners has put plans to raise $300 million for a dedicated oil and gas pool on hold in the face of adverse market conditions, Private Equity International has learned.

In May 2015 PEI reported that Helios was looking to raise the sidecar, which would be used to co-invest alongside its flagship funds. At the time Helios was seeing a number of good opportunities within the oil and gas sector, and due to restrictions regarding sector concentration the firm was not able to take full advantage of all of them using just its generalist vehicles, according to a source familiar with the fundraising.

However, the firm has since decided that its latest flagship fund has enough capacity to take advantage of opportunities within the sector, according to a source with knowledge of the matter. The firm may choose to revisit raising the sidecar at a later date, it is understood.

Helios declined to comment.

Helios closed its latest flagship fund, Helios Investors III, in early 2015 on $1.1 billion, exceeding its $1 billion target. Two of the vehicle’s four investments thus far have been in the oil and gas sector.

In May the firm invested $100 million for a 12.4 percent stake in Africa Oil Corp., a Canadian oil and gas company with assets in Kenya and Ethiopia as well as Puntland (Somalia) through its equity interest in Africa Energy Corp. It is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange and on Nasdaq Stockholm. Helios’ investment will help to fund Africa Oil’s ongoing appraisal and development work programme in East Africa, PEI reported at the time.

In June 2015 Helios teamed up with Netherlands-based Vitol Group to acquire a majority stake in Oando’s Nigeria-based downstream energy business for $276 million, as reported by PEI.