Energy: New kids on the block

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The list of debutants to energy-specific fundraising ranges from global giants to Texas-based investment firms seeking to pick up keenly priced assets as oil producers struggle. Some such as Warburg Pincus have launched their first energy fund after years of investing in the sector via other vehicles, while others are complete newcomers, with the focus overwhelmingly on North America. Here is a rollcall of the 10 biggest to debut over the last two years compiled by our team at PEI Research & Analytics. 

1. Warburg Pincus Energy
Warburg Pincus closed its oversubscribed debut energy fund in October 2014 on $4 billion. The focus is primarily on energy exploration and production investing in North America with additional markets such as Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America. Investors include leading US pension funds. Investments include Texas-based Venari Resources, an oil and gas exploration company that completed a $1.3 billion fundraise led by Warburg Pincus.
MANAGER: Warburg Pincus
SIZE: $4 billion

2. Avenue Energy Opportunities Fund
Founded in 1995 by Marc Lasry and Sonia Gardner, distressed debt investor Avenue Capital closed its first dedicated energy fund in June 2015 at $1.3 billion, comfortably exceeding its $750 million target. Lasry, the chief executive, believes the sharp fall in oil prices throws up “once-in-a-lifetime” investment opportunities. The fund is investing in corporate, distressed-debt securities and other special situations in North America.
MANAGER: Avenue Capital
SIZE: $1.3 billion

3. BCP Energy Services Fund
Founded in 2013 by two former executives of energy services company Shaw Group, Louisiana-based private equity firm Bernhard Capital Partners launched its debut energy fund in October 2014, closing at $750 million in May 2016. Bernhard Capital targets “businesses providing critical services to the energy sector, throughout the upstream, midstream, downstream and power verticals”, according to its website.
MANAGER: Bernhard Capital Partners
SIZE: $750 million

4. Pearl Energy Fund I
Pearl Energy Investments closed its debut mid-market fund on its hard-cap of $500 million in September. It is seeking to invest $25 million-$75 million in small to mid-sized energy exploration and production, midstream and related service businesses in west Texas, northern Louisiana and Calgary, among other regions. “The next 12 to 24 months could be a very good time to make some acquisitions,” Pearl Energy managing partner William Quinn told Private Equity International last October.
MANAGER: Pearl Energy Investments
SIZE: $500 million

5. ENR Partners LP
Edge Natural Resources is a Dallas-based energy investment firm specialising in the small-cap North American upstream and oilfield services sectors. Led by former executives from Natural Gas Partners, it held a final close on its inaugural fund, ENR Partners LP, on its hard-cap of $445.7 million in August 2015. In December, it acquired Alberta-based oil and gas company Canamax Energy in an $82 million deal.
MANAGER: Edge Natural Resources
SIZE: $445.7 million

6. Carnelian Energy Capital
Carnelian Energy Capital held a final close of its debut PE fund, on its hard-cap of $400 million in December 2015. The focus is on lower/mid-market investments in the North American upstream, midstream and oilfield services sectors. “The current energy landscape presents exciting investment opportunities, especially in the underserved lower and middle market oil and gas sector,” said partner Daniel Goodman.
MANAGER: Carnelian Energy Capital
SIZE: $400 million

7. Trilantic Energy Partners (North America)
Trilantic Capital Partners was formed in 2009 as a spin out from Lehman Brothers Merchant Banking. Trilantic North America’s energy team has invested about $3.1 billion in 22 transactions to date, and held a final close on its first energy fund at $388 million in July 2015. The Texas office opened this year “will provide us with valuable on-the-ground insight”, chairman Chris Manning said.
MANAGER: Trilantic Capital Partners
SIZE: $388 million

8. Energy Opportunity Fund
Alternative Investment Capital, Japan’s first fund of funds, was established in 2002 as a joint venture between Mitsubishi and Daido Life Insurance. Its first energy fund targeting North America closed in April 2015 at $241 million with Japan Bank for International Co-operation and Shinkin Central Bank among the investors. The fund is the first to raise from Japanese LPs to invest purely in energy, the firm said.
MANAGER: Alternative Investment Capital
SIZE: $241 million

9. IOG Class M Investment Vehicle I
Dallas-based IOG Capital was established in 2014 by energy industry veteran Marc Rowland to provide capital for the development of both “conventional and unconventional” oil and gas assets. It specialises in oil, gas, or natural gas liquids within the US and closed its debut fund at $230 million in September 2014.
MANAGER: IOG Capital
SIZE: $230 million

10. Five Point Capital Midstream Fund I
Texas-based Five Point Capital Partners closed its inaugural fund on its hard-cap of $225 million in January 2015. The focus is on the midstream energy infrastructure sector, with investments including Redwood Midstream, a multi-phase oil, gas and liquids gathering and processing business. “We are looking at all of the shale opportunities in the US,” co-founder David Capobianco told PEI.
MANAGER: Five Point Capital Partners
SIZE: $225 million