Adamant Ventures, a British private- equity firm focusing on oil and gas, expects to raise 80 million pounds ($130 million) for its first fund next year, according to founding partner Antony Sommerfeld.

Adamant expects to hold a first close, the point at which it can begin investing, of 50 million pounds by February, with the final close by April, Sommerfeld said in an interview. The fund will focus on early stage on-shore oil and gas exploration investments, he said.

The London-based company’s board includes Simon Walker, former chief executive officer of the British Private Equity & Venture Capital Association, and Mark Carne, a former executive at Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Europe’s largest oil company.

“We’ve observed that the market doesn’t value early stage exploration potential but does value management teams who can execute,” Sommerfeld said. “We seek to position ourselves as the go-to investors in oil and gas exploration.”

Private-equity firms typically pool money from pension plans and endowments with a mandate to buy companies within five to six years, then sell them and return the money and a profit after 10 years. The firms usually charge a management fee of as much as 2 percent and keep 20 percent of the profits.

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