Metalmark and Greenhill Capital to acquire energy partnership

The private equity units of Citi and Greenhill & Company will partner with senior management to buy out publicly traded BreitBurn for $305m.

Metalmark Capital Partners, Greenhill Capital Partners and senior management have agreed to acquire a 96 percent stake in BreitBurn Energy Company from Provident Energy Trust for $305 million (€195 million).

California-based BreitBurn’s co-chief executives Randall Breitenbach and Halbert Washburn indirectly own the remaining 4 percent stake.

The transaction is expected to close in mid-August.

BreitBurn is a publicly traded oil and gas limited partnership focused on the acquisition, exploration and development of oil and gas properties throughout the US. BreitBurn listed on the NASDAQ in 2006.

The limited partnership is currently a separate US subsidiary of Provident. Provident’s assets are primarily producing and non-producing crude oil reserves in Los Angeles, Orange and Santa Barbara counties in California.

Metalmark is a spin-out of Morgan Stanley that was acquired by Citi Alternative Investments in December 2007. The group continues to manage several North America-focused funds, which remain captive at Morgan Stanley, as well as Metalmark Capital Partners, a $1.2 billion fund that was established following the firm’s founding.

Metalmark’s core sectors of focus are energy, natural resources, industrials and healthcare.

Greenhill Capital is the private equity arm of boutique investment bank Greenhill & Company. The firm’s funds have approximately $1.8 billion of committed capital. Established in 2000, the US-based group focuses on financial services, telecom and energy investments.