Vortus targets $400m for debut energy fund

The Texas-based oil and gas investor has completed its first investment.

Texas-based energy investor Vortus Investments has launched its debut private equity fund, which has a $400 million target, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.

Vortus declined to comment.  

Vortus will invest in onshore oil and gas exploration and production in the US mid-market. The firm aims to invest between $50 million and $75 million of equity per transaction. Forbes Private Capital Group is serving as the fund’s placement agent.

While Vortus has not held a first close yet, the firm has already completed its first investment, acquiring Texas-based exploration and production company Foreland Resources. Vortus funded the investment using capital primarily from outside investors, which the firm will repay following the first close. About $37 million of the $50 million equity commitment was funded when the deal closed on 30 December.

The acquisition also included the refinancing of about $120 million of Foreland’s existing mezzanine facility, split between a $50 million senior credit facility and a $70 million second lien facility provided by Sankaty Advisors. Roughly 20 percent of the $50 million equity commitment was also provided by Sankaty. 

“The partnership provides an attractive entry point into an exciting, low cost region of domestic onshore production growth, where Foreland has already demonstrated its ability to effectively develop the asset,” Jeffrey Miller, managing partner at Vortus said in the statement.

Fort Worth, Texas-based Vortus was founded in November 2012 by Miller, who was previously the director of exploration and production investments at Mercuria Energy Group and the president of Moncrief Oil International, and Brian Crumley, who previously worked for Luther King Capital Management.