Riverstone Holdings has put $200 million into Ridgebury Tankers, a new tanker company focused on the acquisition and operation of vessels in the tanker sector. Ridgebury management invested $5.7 million as part of the deal. The Connecticut-based company will use the capital to acquire clean product carriers of all sizes and in the crude sector will focus primarily on Suezmax vessels.
Ridgebury Tankers LLC (“Ridgebury” or “the Company”), a new tanker company focused on the acquisition and operation of vessels in the tanker sector, today announced a $200 million commitment from Riverstone Holdings LLC (“Riverstone”), the energy private investment firm, alongside a $5.7 million commitment from Ridgebury management. The Connecticut-based Company will use the capital to acquire clean product carriers of all sizes and in the crude sector will focus primarily on Suezmax vessels.
Ridgebury is led by its Founder and CEO, Bob Burke, who has been involved in the shipping industry for over 30 years in a variety of capacities. Mr. Burke’s extensive executive shipping experience includes tanker operations, chartering activities for vessels, direct equity investments and financings, and the ownership and operational management of companies across several shipping sectors.
“Our strategy is to invest in modern tonnage either currently on the water or on resales of vessels that will enter service shortly,” said Mr. Burke. “We believe that the next 12-24 months will present an attractive entry point for investment in the sector. Although distressed opportunities may present themselves, our primary focus will be the pursuit of quality modern tonnage. We are not in a rush to invest, and we want to focus our efforts on opportunities with a high certainty of closing. With Riverstone’s equity commitment and sensible financial leverage, we believe we have a great opportunity to build a highly successful company in the tanker sector.”
In addition to Mr. Burke, the management team includes Kevin Bavolar as CFO, as well as Hew Crooks and Steve Fitzgerald. Messrs. Burke, Bavolar and Fitzgerald worked together at GE Capital, and Mr. Crooks worked with Mr. Burke at Great Circle Capital, a Maritime equity investment fund. “In a small organization such as Ridgebury it is imperative to have a team that has worked together before,” said Mr. Bavolar.
John Lancaster, a Partner at Riverstone added, “This investment is consistent with Riverstone’s model of partnering with proven management in focused strategies in specific segments of the energy industry. Crude oil and product tankers are an essential component of the rapidly evolving and critical global energy logistics system, and we believe the sector’s immediate and long-term fundamentals provide the potential for entry, growth and attractive returns. We are excited to partner with Bob and his team in this new venture.”
About Riverstone Holdings LLC
Riverstone is an energy and power-focused private investment firm founded in 2000 with approximately $24 billion of equity capital raised across seven investment funds, including the world’s largest renewable energy fund. Riverstone conducts buyout and growth capital investments in the midstream, exploration & production, oilfield services, power and renewable sectors of the energy industry. With offices in New York, London and Houston, the firm has committed approximately $21.6 billion to 97 investments in North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia.