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World’s Biggest Private Equity Firm Raises $1 Billion To Invest In Oil

On the back of renewed confidence in higher oil prices, the world’s biggest private equity firm, The Carlyle Group, is looking to raise US$1 billion to create a new fund for investing in oil and gas outside the U.S., Reuters reported on Wednesday, citing banking sources.

The Carlyle Group is looking to raise interest for a new energy investment fund overseas after its fund Carlyle International Energy Partners (CIEP) has almost completely spent the US$2.5 billion in funds raised when it was launched on 2013.

The goal of the CIEP fund was to make global opportunistic investments in oil and gas outside of North America, with primary investment focus on oil and gas exploration and production (E&P), midstream and downstream, refining and marketing (R&M), and oil field services (OFS).

One of the fund’s high-profile investments was in the UK-based firm Neptune that struck a deal in May to buy the North Sea gas assets of France’s Engie along with other operations for US$3.9 billion. Neptune, ran by the former chief executive of British utility Centrica Sam Laidlaw, was given US$5 billion by Carlyle Group and CVC Capital Partners back when it was set up in 2015.

Another Carlyle-backed firm—Assala Energy—completed earlier this month the acquisition of Shell’s onshore assets in Gabon, for a total of US$628 million, including an amount equivalent to interest. Assala Energy was created by Carlyle as a new oil and gas exploration and production company to focus on energy opportunities in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Related: Why Canadian Crude Trades At Such A Steep Discount

Now, according to several banking sources who spoke to Reuters, Bob Maguire and Marcel van Poecke, the managing directors of the CIEP fund, have recently met with investors in the United States during a roadshow to raise interest in the new fund that Carlyle is preparing.

The fund, expected to be launched in 2018, will be used to create a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) that will be listed in New York, according to Reuters’ banking sources.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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