Carlyle Group Hires 6-Person Energy Team, Plans $1.5B Fund

(Reuters) – The Carlyle Group has hired a six person energy investment team, the private equity firm said on Thursday, as it looks to take advantage of predicted growth in global demand.

Carlyle also plans to raise a fund of around $1.5 billion, a source familiar with the matter said, and has already had some commitments from investors.

Carlyle already has $28 billion of energy investments, made through its general buyout funds, its infrastructure fund and its middle-market funds, but this is its first dedicated energy fund and investment team outside North America.

Carlyle is beefing up its energy team after an 11-year collaboration with Riverstone Holdings, which saw the private equity firms launch six funds together focused on buyouts in the energy and power sectors, came to an end in 2011.

The London-based team will be run by Marcel van Poecke, who was chief executive of now insolvent Swiss-based oil refiner Petroplus during Carlyle’s ownership from 2005 to 2007, and will join this month.

The team also includes Paddy Spink, an operating executive, who has 35 years’ upstream experience; Joost Droege, a managing director, who has 25 years’ downstream experience; and Joao Saraiva e Silva, a managing director, who has more than 14 years’ experience in upstream/downstream operations, Carlyle said in a statement.

“Industry experts forecast global energy demand to grow dramatically over the next decade,” Carlyle said in a statement.

“Energy production and infrastructure is expected to grow dramatically in Europe, Africa, the Americas and Asia to meet this demand. This environment will increase the need for capital investment globally.”

The team will focus on oil and gas exploration and production, midstream, oilfield services and refining and marketing in Europe, Africa, Latin America and Asia.

Most diversified private equity firms now boast dedicated energy funds. Last year KKR said it had raised a $1.25 billion natural resources fund, while Blackstone Group LP raised just over $2.5 billion for an energy-focused private equity fund.

By Reuters

(Additional editing by Lawrence Aragon for peHUB)

Image credit: Photo courtesy of ShutterStock