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Trilantic beefs up Austin, Texas, office; sees energy-fund prospects

  • Execs Chris Manning, Glenn Jacobson to oversee Lone Star state
  • Trilantic eyes distress in oil patch
  • Three full-timers staff Austin office

Trilantic North America plans to beef up its new Austin, Texas, office on the heels of a fresh acquisition in the Lone Star State, as the firm deploys capital from its dedicated energy fund and flagship pool.

Chris Manning, managing partner of Trilantic, said the New York firm sees ample opportunities to deploy its $400 million energy fund, raised as a companion to its $2.2 billion flagship, Trilantic Capital Partners V.

Three of eight people in the firm’s energy practice will be based in Austin. Manning also will spend time there along with other Trilantic execs such as partner Glenn Jacobson, Manning said.

The firm plans to add more people to the office. Manning didn’t provide an immediate timetable.

Overall, the energy sector’s pricing dynamics differ from the hotly contested deals in the general buyouts market, he said.

“You have to be more judicious in this pricing environment,” Manning said. “There are still a lot of great assets out there. You just have to be patient.”

Trilantic focuses on negotiated deals rather than taking part in a broader process, keeping an eye on rising distress levels in the energy patch, he said.

“A lot of capital has been put into the industry in the last five years,” Manning said. “A lot of money has been borrowed. And many companies find themselves in financial duress, or stress. That’s where private equity can be helpful to reorganize or restructure companies. We spend a fair amount of time looking at those situations.”

Austin marks Trilantic’s fifth office worldwide, along with New York, London, Guernsey and Luxembourg.

In April, Trilantic invested $300 million in Indigo Minerals LLC, an energy company operating in east Texas and north and central Louisiana. The firm led a capital raise, with the company’s existing investors Martin Cos, Yorktown Partners LLC and Ridgemont Equity Partners together investing $75 million of additional equity.

Action item: Trilantic’s energy portfolio:

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