EXCLUSIVE: Vortus hits the market with $400 mln debut fund

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Vortus Investments, a young, energy-focused private equity firm based in Fort Worth, Texas, is in the market targeting $400 million for its debut fund, according to a person with knowledge of the firm and a marketing presentation seen by peHUB.

Vortus Investments I has a $500 million hard cap, according to the person. The firm anticipates a first close in the first quarter, the person said, though it’s not clear how much the fund has collected so far. Vortus declined to comment. Forbes Private Capital Group is working as placement agent on the fundraising.

Fund I is charging a 2 percent management fee on committed capital during the four-year investment period and 1.5 percent after that on the lower of invested capital or fair value, according to the presentation. The fund will use 100 percent of transaction fees to offset the management fee.

Also, Fund I has an 8 percent preferred return and will have a 20 percent carried interest rate, according to the presentation. The GP will be kicking in a 2 percent commitment.
Vortus was formed in 2012 by Jeffrey Miller and Brian Crumley. Prior to Vortus, Miller was director of upstream and investments at Mercuria Energy Group. From 2004 to 2008, he was president of Moncrief Oil International and managing partner of Moncrief Minerals Partnership. Miller also spent time working at UBS/Dillon Read, Lehman Brothers and Chase Manhattan Bank, Exxon USA and Chevron, according to his biography in the marketing materials.

Crumley was a founding partner of Luther King Capital Management Private Discipline Partners, which launched with $100 million for investments in energy. He also worked as an analyst from 2002 to 2006 at Sirios Capital Management in Boston, and as an investment associate at Natural Gas Partners from 1998 to 2000.

Vortus completed its first investment late last year in Foreland Resources, committing $50 million in partnership with Foreland’s management team and debt shop Sankaty Advisors to develop the company’s assets in the Permian Basin. Sankaty accounted for about 20 percent of the $50 million equity check, according to a statement from Vortus.
About $37 million of the investment was funded at close, Vortus said in the statement. The transaction also included refinancing of about $120 million of Foreland’s existing mezzanine facility into a two-tranche facility comprised of a $50 million senior credit facility and a $70 million second lien facility provided by Sankaty.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

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