Slideshow: 5 Top PE Firms In Energy & Power

Private equity activity in the energy and power sector has picked up lately, with U.S.-based sponsors closing 39 control-stake deals globally with a disclosed deal value of $5 billion in 2011 as of Sept. 30, according to a Buyouts feature to be published Monday.

That puts them on pace to outdo last year’s results, when U.S.-based firms closed 44 deals with a disclosed deal value of $2.8 billion, though still a ways off from 2007, when U.S.-based firms closed 70 deals in the energy and power sector with a disclosed deal value of $88 billion.

Large firms like KKR and Blackstone are raising dedicated energy funds, joining industry stalwarts such as First Reserve Corp. Energy & power is still a frontier of sorts, Buyouts writes, noting that 61 percent of control-stake acquisitions closed by U.S.-based sponsors globally from Oct. 1, 2009, through Sept. 30, 2011, are platform, or new acquisitions. By contrast, only around 13 percent of all control-stake deals in 2010 could be called platforms.

Below are 5 U.S.-based firms that have closed some of the most control-stake acquisitions from the same time period, according to Thomson Reuters. Some firms may have closed deals in this time frame that our data run did not capture.

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[slide title=”Alinda Capital Partners: 2 platforms, 1 add-on”]
Alinda Capital bought NorTex Gas Storage Co. LLC, a developer and owner of natural gas storage facilities, for $505 million; and agri capital GmbH, a Muenster, Germany-based operator of biogas plants, for an undisclosed amount. Alinda, with more than $7.4 billion in equity commitments, specializes in infrastructure investments.

[slide title=”Advent International: 2 platforms”]
Advent doesn’t include energy as one of its stated target sectors, though the firm is an active investor in the industrial sector. Its investments in our data run include TES Vsetin sro, a wholesaler of electric motors in the Czech Republic; and BOS Solutions Inc., a Calgary-based manufacturer of drilling fluid management systems.

[slide title=”TPG Capital: 3 platforms.”]
TPG closed at least three platform acquisitions in the energy and power sector with a disclosed deal value of $4.5 billion. These include its $2.5 billion takeover of troubled Australian energy company Alinta Energy and the $1 billion buy, alongside ACON Investments, of a refinery, a pipeline and 235 gas stations from Marathon Oil Corp. The Fort Worth-based firm is getting ready to open an office in Houston.

[slide title=”First Reserve Corp: 3 platforms, 1 add-on.”]
First Reserve’s acquisitions included Amromco Energy LLC, a Houston-based oil and gas exploration company. Among other things, the energy specialist is especially interested in natural gas plants, Managing Director Mark McComiskey tells Buyouts. Broadly speaking, the firm invests across five industry verticals: extracted reserves, such as oil and gas; midstream/downstream; power; oilfield services; and infrastructure.

[slide title=”Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.: 4 Platforms, 1 add-on.”]
KKR’s recent deals include buying Barnett Shale properties in Texas from Carrizo Oil & Gas Inc. and from ConocoPhillips Co. Both properties were older, more developed properties whose owners wanted to raise capital to invest in higher growth shale properties. But KKR’s most notable deals in recent memory were on less-developed shale properties. In June, for example, it and Hilcorp Energy agreed to sell assets in the Eagle Ford shale formation in Texas to Marathon Oil for $3.5 billion, only a year after investing $400 million for a 40 percent stake in the joint venture.

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