Ridgewood Eyes $750M For Fund II

Firm: Ridgewood Energy

Fund: Ridgewood Energy Oil & Gas Fund II LP

Amount raised: $450 million

Target: $750 million

Placement Agent: None

With private equity firms tapping into investor interest in U.S. oil and gas development, Houston and Montvale, New Jersey-based Ridgewood Energy said about $300.5 million remains to be sold in its Oil & Gas Fund II, according to a Form D filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Phone calls by Buyouts to Ridgewood Energy were not returned.

Founded in 1982 by Chairman and CEO Robert Swanson, Ridgewood Energy funds own interests in 29 discoveries, including 25 active oil and gas wells; also 62 federal and state lease blocks in the Gulf of Mexico, Ridgewood said on its website.

Ridgewood Energy is part of the Ridgewood Companies, a private firm that’s drawn more than $3 billion in investments often from high net-worth individuals, with 80 percent of all capital, or about $2.2 billion, coming from repeat investors, the company said.

Swanson also serves as chairman of Ridgewood Renewable Power and chairman of Ridgewood Capital Management, a venture capital and private equity investment firm that finances energy technology companies.

Swanson and his spouse, Barbara Mardinly Swanson, authored the 1982 book, Tax Shelters, a Guide for Investors and Their Advisors, published by Dow Jones-Irwin.

Offshore oil production from the Gulf of Mexico accounts for 23 percent of total U.S. crude production, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The region continues to draw investments from energy companies, limited partners and private equity firms as U.S. oil production continues to ramp up on advances in drilling and extraction technologies.

Ridgewood Energy’s fund comes as private equity firms scramble to take part in the often-lucrative business of supplying energy for a steadily growing global economy.

David Rubenstein, co-CEO of The Carlyle Group LP, said the firm has beefed up its energy team with an eye on the U.S. and overseas investments. “Obviously we are looking for trends, and if we can find something half as good as energy, we’re certainly going to pursue it,” Rubenstein said on a conference call with investors on May 9. “We have long believed that one of the best places to invest is the energy sector.” Carlyle Group added a six-person international energy investment team to grow its energy platform overseas.

Among the recent deals:

Warburg Pincus said its recently closed, $11.2 billion Warburg Pincus Private Equity XI LP fund invested more than $2.3 billion in 28 new companies in 2012, including Venari Resources, a start-up company focused on deep water exploration and production in the Gulf of Mexico.

Apollo Global Management LLC and Riverstone Holdings LLC set plans to invest up to $600 million in Talos Energy to focus on oil and gas opportunities in the Gulf of Mexico.

Renaissance Offshore acquired assets from Black Elk Energy for an undisclosed sum. Renaissance Offshore was founded in December 2011 in partnership with Quantum Energy Partners to acquire and redevelop legacy oil properties on the Gulf of Mexico shelf.