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Lime Rock closes $750m energy fund

Lime Rock Partners, a Connecticut private equity firm, today announced the closing of its fourth energy-focused fund on $750m, nearly as much as its three previous funds combined.

Energy funds worldwide are powering up in recent months. The latest: Westport, Connecticut-based energy-focused private equity firm Lime Rock Partners today announced the closing of its fourth fund on $750 million (€590.6 million), approaching the total of $850 million raised by its previous three energy funds combined.

Lime Rock began its fundraising for the new fund just this past July. Fund commitments came from 63 institutional investors, including endowments, foundations, and pension funds, with 95 percent coming from investors in previous Lime Rock funds.

The firm’s three previous funds have invested in 37 companies in the energy service, exploration and production, and oil service technology sectors in North America and Europe—a strategy which will continue with the new fund. The firm also manages a separate $450 million fund which directly acquires and operates US oil and gas properties. Lime Rock now manages $2.1 billion of private capital.

“We think that our future opportunities will be in companies operating in our traditional markets in Europe and North America,” said John Reynolds, managing director of Lime Rock, in a statement. “[I]ncreasingly, in companies seizing the growth opportunities created by oil and gas development by international and national oil companies in new markets.”

Lime Rock is just the latest firm to ride the current wave of energy-related private equity investment. Last month, First Reserve trumpeted its closing of the largest energy-specific global fund ever raised, at $7.8 billion (€6.1 billion), which its CEO, Bill Macaulay, told PrivateEquityOnline could have been “much larger.” New York-based LS Power Group and New Jersey-based Energy Capital Partners have also been working to raise energy funds in the $2 billion range.