Centerbridge Eyes Seismic Data Company

Target: Seitel Inc.

Sponsor: Centerbridge Partners LP

Seller: ValueAct Capital LLC

Centerbridge Partners LP isn’t wasting any time putting its second fund to work.

The New York-based firm, which has so far raised $4 billion for the fund, is tapping it to invest in Seitel Inc., a Houston-based company that provides seismic data to the oil and gas industry, according to a regulatory filing. Seitel announced on May 23 that it sold a minority interest to Centerbridge Partners for $125 million in cash.

The seller is ValueAct Capital LLC, a hedge fund which in 2007 bought the remaining 61 percent of the company it didn’t already own in a deal valued at $780 million.

In a press release, executives at Seitel and Centerbridge said the capital infusion will help expand the company’s library of seismic data. “We continue to be presented with numerous opportunities to expand our library in the shale basins in both the U.S. and Canada,” said Rob Monson, Seitel’s CEO.

Seitel, which has publicly traded debt, posted cash EBITDA (which it defines as “cash resales and solutions revenue less cash operating expenses…excluding various non-recurring items”) of $21. 7 million for the first quarter of 2011, up from $16.1 million for the same period last year. Revenue for the quarter was $59.5 million, up from $32.4 million during the first quarter of 2010. The company, founded in 1982, generated $175.6 million in revenue for 2010, up from $115.3 million for 2009.

The investment will come out of Centerbridge Capital Partners II LP, according to the filing. The firm has already raised close to $4 billion for the fund, Buyouts reported earlier. The sale for ValueAct comes out of ValueAct Capital Master Fund LP, according to the filing.

Jeffrey Aronson, formerly a partner at Angelo, Gordon & Co., and Mark Gallogly, formerly a senior managing director at The Blackstone Group, founded Centerbridge Partners in 2006.