Alaska Fund Backs Browne Stock Market Return
Alaska's sovereign wealth fund is to plough hundreds of millions of pounds into a new oil investment vehicle that will provide the platform for a return to the London stock market for Lord Browne, the former BP chief.
Sky News has learnt that the Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation , which invests on behalf of the state's citizens, has signed up as a cornerstone investor in Riverstone Holdings, a listed holding company that will invest in renewable energy assets around the world.
People familiar with the deal say the Alaskan fund is likely to invest between £135m and £250m in return for a stake of up to 27% in the vehicle.
Among the other cornerstone investors will be the family office of Louis Bacon, a prominent hedge fund billionaire, and Hunt Oil, a group headed by Ray L Hunt, a Texan oil tycoon.
The listing is expected to be launched on September 23 and could see Riverstone Holdings raise between £500m and £1bn, according to bankers.
It will invest in companies across the oil and gas and renewable energy sectors that mirror deals struck by the Riverstone private equity firm, which completed a $7.7bn (£5bn) fundraising in June.
The appointment of Lord Browne to the board will mark the latest stage of a comeback for the former BP chief executive, whose other roles include the chairmanship of Cuadrilla Resources, the privately-owned fracking company which is facing opposition to its efforts to extract gas in parts of the UK.
He also oversaw the recent purchase by Riverstone of oil and gas fields off the southern coast of the US, where his successor at BP, Tony Hayward, was plunged into crisis during the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
The new Riverstone Energy vehicle will be chaired by Sir Robert Wilson, the former chairman of BG Group.
The listing of a so-called permanent capital vehicle in London will provide Riverstone with a potentially open-ended supply of funding to conclude deals as investors pour money into opportunities triggered by the US shale oil and gas boom.
The board contains a number of directors with links to Goldman Sachs, which alongside JP Morgan is preparing the Riverstone Energy flotation, as well as Mr Bacon, whose hedge fund Moore Capital is one of the largest on Wall Street.
The former chief executive of Anadarko Petroleum, James Hackett, and Tidu Maini, the chairman of Qatar Science and Technology Park and a former director of Schlumberger, are also joining the Riverstone Energy board, raising the prospect of Qatari funds becoming a significant investor.
Riverstone and Lord Browne could not be reached for comment.