Pelican Energy Partners has closed its latest private equity fund, which will invest in energy services and equipment companies. The fund, Pelican Energy Partners II LP, raised $210 million in investor capital commitments.
Houston-based Pelican targets energy sector companies with significant growth potential and resilience to industry cycles. It launched its first fund, Pelican Energy Partners I, in 2012, which was near the peak of the last cycle for the oil industry. Pelican Energy currently has seven portfolio companies, and in April it sold its first realized investment, Downhole Technology LLC, designer of plugs used in fracking, to Schoeller Bleckmann Oilfield Equipment.
Depressed oil prices have generally depressed investors’ appetite for the energy sector, but some analysts say that the prices—and poor outlooks for energy companies—may be finally bottoming out. According to Houston-based Baker Hughes Inc., an oilfield service company that tracks rotary oil and natural gas drilling rig numbers weekly, the number of U.S. rigs for the week of July 15 was 447, down 410 from one year earlier—43 above the record low since the count began in 1949.
Many energy companies are struggling in the volatile market. Oil and gas explorer Energy XXI Ltd. (NYSE: EXXI) and coal giant Peabody Energy Corp. (NYSE: BTU) have filed for bankruptcy. And a slew of companies have indicated concerns regarding their ability to continue operations, including SandRidge Energy Inc. and Vaalco Energy (NYSE: EGY).
Champlain Advisors LLC was Pelican’s placement agent for the Pelican Energy Partners II fund.