UPDATE 2-Carlyle raises first energy fund after Riverstone

Tue Nov 27, 2012 12:43pm EST
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* New fund to lend to energy projects and companies

* Targets 15-18 percent gross internal rate of return

By Greg Roumeliotis

NEW YORK, Nov 27 (Reuters) - Carlyle Group LP has raised $1.38 billion for a fund lending to energy projects and companies, almost double its initial target, in its first energy-focused fundraising effort following the end of its collaboration with Riverstone Holdings LLC.

Vast reserves of natural gas and oil unlocked from underground shale deposits are driving an energy renaissance in the United States as companies scramble to raise money for projects.

Since 2000, Washington, D.C.-based Carlyle and New York-based Riverstone have launched six funds together, focused on buyouts in the energy and power sectors, accumulating about $15 billion in assets under management in total. But the two private equity firms decided to go it alone in 2011.

Carlyle, which manages assets totaling $157.4 billion in a wide range of alternative asset classes including buyouts, real estate and hedge funds, said on Tuesday its new $1.38 billion Carlyle Energy Mezzanine Opportunities Fund had exceeded its initial $750 million fundraising target.

"We are delighted with the faith investors have shown in us and in our strategy," David Albert, Carlyle's co-head of the energy credit investment team, who was previously global head of project and structured finance at Morgan Stanley, said in a statement.

The Carlyle Energy Mezzanine Opportunities Fund has made six investments so far, including a rescue of Sunoco Inc's Philadelphia refinery last July. It is targeting a 15 percent to 18 percent gross internal rate of return for investments in the United States and Canada, according to Portfolio Advisors LLC, an alternative investment advisory firm.   Continued...