Warburg-seeded Laredo buys $185m in energy assets

Laredo Petroleum, launched in 2007 with the backing of Warburg Pincus, has acquired 50,000 acres of natural gas-rich land in Oklahoma.

Warburg Pincus portfolio company Laredo Petroleum has acquired $185 million (€131 million) in “strategic assets” from oil and gas company Linn Energy.

The acquired assets consist of 50,000 acres in south central Oklahoma containing 45 billion cubic feet of natural gas equivalent.

Laredo is a Tulsa, Oklahoma-based oil and gas company that develops oil and gas properties in the “mid-continent” region of the US. The company is currently running seven drilling rigs and has committed to five more.

Laredo was formed in May 2007 by Warburg in partnership with chief executive Randy Foutch. Warburg agreed to a line-of-equity financing of up to $300 million with the potential of increasing the financing to $500 million.

Warburg invested in two previous companies founded by Foutch: Lariat Petroleum and Latigo Petroleum. Lariat was sold to Newfield Exploration for $333 million in 2001 and Latigo was sold to Pogo Producing Company for roughly $750 million in 2006.

Last month, Warburg led a C$275 million ($263 million; €179 million) financing for Alberta, Canada-based Osum Oil Sands which included a substantial investment from The Blackstone Group.

The firm has invested approximately $3.5 billion in more than 30 energy companies globally. Other recent energy investments by Warburg include Canadian oil and gas exploration company Canbriam, Chinese oil logistics company Titan Petrochemicals and US gas-fired electricity producer APT Generation.

Warburg, which closed its 10th private equity fund on $15 billion in April, looks at deals in all development stages and sectors within a single fund.