US energy-focused private equity firm Vortus Investments is looking to raise a $400m debt fund for its inaugural vehicle, according to Buyouts.
Texas-based Vortus was founded by Jeffrey Miller and Brian Crumley and targets the North American mid-market upstream energy industry.
Miller was previously director of upstream and investments for Mercuria Energy Trading, based in Fort Worth, Texas and Geneva, Switzerland from 2008 to 2012, where he held global responsibility for the upstream/E&P portfolio. Prior to that he was the president of Moncrief Oil International, the holding company for the Moncrief Families international assets which were primarily located in the Former Soviet Union, and the managing partner of Moncrief Minerals Partnership.
Crumley was a founding partner of LKCM Private Discipline Partners, which was started in 2006 under the umbrella of Luther King Capital Management, a $13bn asset management firm in Fort Worth. He previously had primary responsibility for energy industry investments at Sirios Capital Management and also worked at Natural Gas Partners.
Vortus will focus specifically on lower mid-market investment opportunities sourced from proprietary deal flow in both conventional and unconventional North American E&P market. The firm said it will emphasise privately negotiated transactions below $100m, which the firm believes is a “more abundant” and “less efficient” segment of the market.
While North America will be the primary regional focus, Vortus said it is also eager to leverage its experience in “specific international regions”.
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