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Lime Rock Raises Energy Fund

Energy investing continues to attract the interest of institutional investors as evidenced by Lime Rock Partners. The Westport, Conn.-based private equity firm announced last week it closed Lime Rock Partners III with $425 million in commitments.

Similar to the firm’s previous two funds – which closed in 1998 with $105 million and $320 million in 2002 – the third fund will target growth-stage companies in petroleum service and technology and energy production and exploration.

Lime Rock Partners II has completed its investment in new companies and is holding capital in reserve for follow-on investments.

New limited partners include Pennsylvania’s State Employees Retirement System, the Commonfund and Allianz Private Equity Partners. More than 80% of the limited partners in fund III are previous investors, including the Colorado Public Employees Retirement Association.

Most of the firm’s 40 LPs are U.S.-based and are a mixture of endowments, foundations and public pension funds.

Lime Rock – which has offices in Houston; Aberdeen, Scotland and Calgary, Alberta – plans to add two or three new investment professionals to help invest the fund.

Lime Rock makes initial investments between $5 million and $25 million in companies with an enterprise value between $10 million and $250 million. The firm will most likely close on a deal to be invested from the new fund by the end of the year.

Lime Rock’s portfolio includes Marauder Resources, a Calgary-based oil and gas production company; NATCO Group, a Houston-based provider of oil and gas production well equipment and services; and Norwegian oil service metering and monitoring company Roxar.

Monument Group served as a placement agent for Lime Rock. It previously served for Lime Rock Partners II.