New York, NY, July 21, 2008 – Avista Capital Partners, a leading private equity firm, today announced it has committed $100 million to Hansa Hydrocarbons, L.P., a London-based exploration and production company, for the purpose of acquiring and developing oil and natural gas properties in the North Sea and Northern Europe.
Hansa Hydrocarbons is focused on commercializing relatively low-risk undeveloped fields where opportunities exist to supply natural gas to the Western European market. The company is concentrating initially on acquiring stranded natural gas fields primarily in the U.K., Dutch, and German sectors of the Southern North Sea, and is also evaluating onshore opportunities across the Permian Basin from the Netherlands to Poland.
Steven Webster, Co-Managing Partner of Avista, said, “We look forward to working with Hansa’s management team, which has significant experience and success in evaluating and cultivating high quality exploration and development programs worldwide. With major oil and gas companies leaving the North Sea to focus on larger fields elsewhere, we think considerable opportunities exist to acquire and develop stranded natural gas assets which have either been overlooked or are too small for larger companies to cost-effectively develop. In addition, supply is unable to keep up with increasing European natural gas demand, and we therefore believe this is a particularly attractive time to be investing in North Sea natural gas assets.”
John Martin, Chief Executive Officer of Hansa Hydrocarbons, said, “We are delighted to partner with Avista Capital, which has an enormous amount of experience and a long history of success in investing in all aspects of the energy sector. We are confident that Avista’s financial resources, operational expertise and contacts, coupled with our commercial and technical expertise and significant European knowledge, will enable the company to build a world-class portfolio of assets within the next few years. We are extremely optimistic about Hansa’s prospects in 2008 and beyond.”
About Hansa Hydrocarbons, L.P.
Based in London, England, Hansa Hydrocarbons aims to grow a material high-value business from exploiting the remaining potential for gas across the prolific Permian Basin that extends from the Southern North Sea through onshore Northern Europe. This is at a time when there are real concerns over energy security given declining domestic production and tight global commodity markets. Within the context of the increasingly favourable market environment for smaller gas developments, the target portfolio will be primarily built from acquiring positions in existing undeveloped discoveries that require further appraisal prior to commercialization. For more information, visit www.hansahydrocarbons.com.
About Avista Capital Partners
Founded in 2005, Avista Capital Partners is a leading private equity firm with offices in New York, NY and Houston, TX. Avista's strategy is to make controlling or influential minority investments primarily in growth-oriented energy, healthcare and media companies. Through its team of seasoned investment professionals and industry experts, Avista seeks to partner with exceptional management teams to invest in and add value to well-positioned businesses. For more information, visit www.avistacap.com.