Carlyle energy pool is largest first fund

  • International energy fund raises $1.9 billion
  • Fund is ahead of its $1.5 billion target
  • Final close expected during third quarter

Carlyle International Energy Partners remains in fundraising mode with contributions from the firm not yet included in the commitment totals, a person familiar with the fund told Buyouts. So far, 146 investors have committed to the fund, which targets investments outside North America in oil and gas exploration, production, refining and marketing, and energy services.

During the firm’s second-quarter conference call on July 30, Rubenstein said he expected to hold a final close during the third quarter for Carlyle International Energy Partners. “We expect reasonably strong fundraising performance for the remainder of the year,” Rubenstein said. 

Carlyle flagged the fund as “recently launched” in an investor presentation last November, when it disclosed a $1.5 billion target for the vehicle. Carlyle Group said it planned to focus on mid-market private equity transactions with deal sizes of up to $150 million.

Marcel van Poecke, managing director for Carlyle International Energy Partners, is also the chairman of Brussels-based AtlasInvest, a private holding company he founded in 2007. He also founded Petroplus from a 1993 management buyout and grew it into the largest independent oil refiner in Europe, according to the Carlyle website.

Carlyle set plans last year to raise at least $7 billion by the end of 2015 for its core natural resource platform, including $4 billion for North American energy, $1.5 billion for international energy and $1.6 billion for power generation assets.

Carlyle is ramping up its relationship with NGP Energy Capital Management for North American energy investments, after working with Riverstone Holdings LLC for about 11 years starting in 2000.

The effort comes as international energy production is expected to grow at 18 percent between 2011 and 2020, a backdrop for compelling investment opportunities, Carlyle said in its investor presentation.

A Carlyle spokesman declined to comment.