Trilantic makes $250m commitment to TRP Energy

TRP will be led by former J.P. Morgan energy bankers Trent Foltz and Randy Dola

Trilantic Capital Management, a global private equity firm with offices in New York and Europe, has committed $250 million to invest in Houston energy exploration and production company TRP Energy, according to a statement by the investor.

The newly formed E&P company will use the capital infusion to acquire and support the development of oil and gas interests in onshore oil and gas wells across the U.S. and Canada.  As part of the deal, TRP will be led by former J.P. Morgan oil and gas investment bankers Trent Foltz, who will serve as its chief executive, and Randy Dolan, who will be its president. While at J.P. Morgan, the pair led the investment bank's technical upstream acquisitions and divestitures practice.

“TRP's strategy is to take a minority position in partnership with a top-tier operator, gaining access to an asset that we think is attractive, but doing so in a way that creates a capital solution for the operator such that it can be a win-win,” Glenn Jacobson, a partner at Trilantic, told Private Equity International.

The equity commitment came out of the $2.2 billion Trilantic V North America fund and another Trilantic entity, according to Jacobson.  

The Trilantic partner said the extensive energy industry contacts that Foltz and Dolan have cultivated over the years from their time at J.P. Morgan positions TRP well from a deal flow standpoint, and may also help privately held E&P companies to have better access to growth capital as compared with larger public companies in the same space that can tap Wall Street's syndicated loan and bond markets for financing. 

“In addition to the team's  technical and engineering skills, Trent and Randy's competitive advantage comes from their vast contact networks within the privately owned energy space, including private equity-and- family-owned energy assets that don't have the same access to capital as larger public companies, as well as their ability to offer strategic guidance in much the way they have done for their entire careers,” he added.

A firm with $5.6 billion spread between four funds and $2.8 billion deployed in its energy investments, Trilantic was formed in 2009 as a spinout from Lehman Brothers Merchant Banking and is led by principals of that team, overseen by Wall Street and former Lehman Brothers private equity chief Charlie Ayres. Ayres, who serves as Trilantic's chairman and managing partner of Trilantic's North American operations, originally joined Lehman Brothers Merchant Banking in 2003. 

The deal follows the firm's other energy investments in Ward Energy Partners and Fluid Delivery Solutions in 2014.

Trilantic isn't focused solely on energy. The firm makes investments of between $50 and 180 million in North American and European companies in various industries spread between business services, consumer, energy, and financial services.

Latham & Watkins served as counsel to Trilantic and Sidley Austin advised TRP.