Carlyle, Goldman deal on power plant outfit

Carlyle Infrastructure Partners has bought Cogentrix, a power plant developer, from Goldman Sachs. The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter.

The Carlyle Group has dispatched its $1.4 billion infrastructure vehicle to acquire US power plant developer Cogentrix Energy from Wall Street firm Goldman Sachs, a press announcement said.

Carlyle did not disclose how much Carlyle Infrastructure Partners paid for Cogentrix, a Charlotte, North Carolina, company that Goldman bought in 2003 for $115 million and $2.3 billion in assumed debt.

The transaction marked the latest energy deal for Carlyle, which is apt to position itself as a “longstanding investor” in the sector, and which in 2011 discontinued its fund management partnership with New York-based Riverstone Holdings.

The collaboration with Riverstone had provided Carlyle with much of its exposure to energy. Riverstone launched in 2000 and relied on Carlyle for its back office and fundraising.

Cogentrix opened in 1983 and is focused on North America. In addition to Carlyle Infrastructure Partners, Carlyle has invested in energy through Carlyle Energy Mezzanine Partners and Carlyle Equity Opportunity Partners.

In June, Washington, D.C.-headquartered Carlyle with Sunoco formed a joint venture to take over a failing oil and gas plant in Philadelphia. Carlyle has also acquired Black Raven Energy in Denver, and Core Minerals Operating Company in Indiana, Plainfield Renewable Energy in Connecticut, and TexOak Energy.

In addition to Cogentrix, Carlyle Infrastructure Partners has invested in transportation, such as the Illinois Central School Bus company, and is currently a bidder to operate the Port of Virginia.

The deal for Cogentrix is expected to close in the fourth quarter. Law firm Vinson & Elkins advised Carlyle.