Lex Capital raises initial $128 mln for fourth energy fund

Lex Capital Management has secured $127.5 million in committed capital in the first close of its fourth energy private equity fund.

Lex Energy Partners LP IV, targeted at $200 million, was backed by a range of North American limited partners, according to a news release. They included individuals, foundations, family offices and institutional investors.

Fund IV will maintain Lex’s strategy of providing seed, growth or acquisition capital to private early-stage oil and gas companies operating in Western Canada.

The firm typically seeks ownership positions of 5 percent to 25 percent.

Executive Chair Craig Lothian said the capital raised will enable continued sourcing and funding of new management teams and opportunities “in what is at or near the bottom of the commodity-price cycle.”

Since its inception in 2009, Lex has raised more than $417 million across four energy funds and one diversified fund.

They include Fund IV’s predecessor, Lex Energy Partners LP III, which closed at $142.5 million in 2015.

Fund III, now fully invested, backed nine companies, among them Mount Bastion Oil and Gas Corp, a Calgary explorer and producer. Mount Bastion was sold last year to Surge Energy for $320 million in cash and stock.

Lex and JOG Capital invested in Mount Bastion in 2016. JOG Managing Partner Ryan Crawford sat on the board.

PE investments in Canada’s oil and gas industry rose sharply in dollar terms in 2018, according to preliminary Refinitiv data.

At the end of December, 28 energy deals were announced or completed, reflecting disclosed values totalling $6.4 billion, or 2.5x the $2.6 billion invested in 2017.

Based in Regina, Lex is led by Lothian, Managing Partner and CEO Dean Popil, Managing Partner and CFO Curtis Armstrong, and Managing Directors Chris Olfert and Ryan Thompson.