TPG Capital Forms Company With Denbury's Roberts to Buy Oil, Gas Assets

TPG Capital, the private-equity firm that manages more than $47 billion, formed a company to buy North American oil and gas properties, starting with an acquisition in Mississippi.

Gareth Roberts, founder and former chief executive officer of Denbury Resources Inc., is running the venture, Fort Worth, Texas-based TPG said today in a statement. The unit, known as Petro Harvester Oil & Gas, is seeking conventional exploration and production assets, TPG said.

“Harvester represents an exciting opportunity for TPG,” said TPG partner Michael MacDougall. “Based on our experience in the space, we believe the best way to achieve scale in this market is to employ a full-time, dedicated team.”

TPG and KKR & Co. are among the buyout firms that have invested in oil and gas companies, betting an economic recovery will boost energy prices. KKR, based in New York, is funding David Rockecharlie, previously co-head of the energy group Jefferies Group Inc., and Claire Farley, a former adviser to the securities firm, to scout for fuel trapped in shale formations, coal beds and sandstone rock.

Petro Harvester’s first purchase is from Comstock Resources Inc., which announced yesterday it was selling Mississippi properties to an unidentified buyer for $75 million in cash. The sale includes areas that produced an average of 1,138 barrels of oil a day and 900,000 cubic feet of natural gas a day in the first half of this year, Frisco, Texas-based Comstock said.

Denbury Rises

Denbury, which TPG invested in, has risen ninefold in a decade as the Plano, Texas-based producer more than doubled output by injecting carbon dioxide into worn-out oil fields. Denbury is this year’s second-best performer in the Standard & Poor’s index of independent exploration and production companies behind Pioneer Natural Resources Co. Like Denbury, Petro Harvester will acquire oil and gas fields it can revive, TPG said.

TPG, run by billionaire David Bonderman, didn’t say how much capital its affiliates expect to put into the venture. TPG in 2007 joined KKR & Co. in the $43.2 billion purchase of TXU Corp., the biggest leveraged buyout in history.

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