Trader Noble strikes second private equity investment fund deal-Reuters

(Reuters) – Global commodity trader Noble Group Ltd has joined forces with a private equity group to set up an energy investment fund run by a former Royal Dutch Shell executive, its second such arrangement in a year.

Noble and EIG Global Energy Partners are creating Harbour Energy, the latest deal to combine commodity merchants’ trading savvy with the financial power of private equity. Linda Cook, who previously was head of Shell’s gas and power business, will be chief executive officer.

“This transaction represents a significant milestone in the continued implementation of Noble’s ‘asset light’ strategy, exploiting our best in class expertise in logistics and supply chain management, while partnering with market leading asset managers and owners,” said Noble CEO Yusuf Alireza.

The arrangement is similar to one announced last September, when Noble and private equity group TPG invested $500 million in a mining-related investment venture called X2 Resources led by Mick Davis, the former head of Xstrata.

As with X2, Noble will be the “preferred” partner to market future production from Harbour Energy’s investments. EIG, together with the group’s management, will oversee acquisitions.