Passport Capital, Sun Capital veteran launches Acceleration Resources with $21 mln

Acceleration Resources LLC has raised its inaugural fund, Acceleration Resources I LP, with US$21 million, in an effort led by a veteran of Passport Capital LLC and Sun Capital Partners Inc, according to public filings and a person familiar with the firm.

Laurance Narbut, chief investment officer of Acceleration Resources, worked for nine years on the investment side at Passport Capital, the hedge fund founded by John H. Burbank III with about US$3.1 billion in assets. Narbut’s resume also includes Richmond Financial, Sun Capital, Parthenon Group and Credit Suisse.

San Francisco-based Acceleration Resources LLC, founded less than a year ago, is crafting special situation energy opportunities on a deal-by-deal basis through joint ventures, credit, or equity, with targeted IRRs of 20 percent or more.

The firm’s inaugural fund is focusing on Canada, a rich source of fossil fuel for export to the United States and elsewhere. The money raised will be used to fund up to US$52 million in horizontal drilling at the Notikewan, Falher and Cardium formations in Alberta. Bellatrix Exploration Ltd, a publicly-listed firm in the U.S. and Canada, is the operating partner drilling the wells.

The new fund from Acceleration Resources came just before the firm inked a joint venture with Shoreline Energy Corp to develop an oil-rich area called the Wattenberg Field of Colorado, part of the larger Niobrara formation.

Under the terms of a letter of intent for the deal, Shoreline Energy Corp will receive a principal sum of up to $3 million. The joint venture includes plans for an investment of up to $50 million to purchase and develop Shoreline Energy’s royalties and non-operating working interests.

The deal, structured under the name Shoreline Energy Holdings II Inc, is expected to close this month. Acceleration Resources II LP will be in the entity, providing the bridge loan to Shoreline Energy Holdings II.

Acceleration Resource’s team of engineers and geologists has more than 90 years of industry experience, and a “deep bench of energy executives and investment professionals on its advisory board,” according to a statement.

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