Blackstone and Warburg win big with oil

Raw commodities are far from the ideal private equity play - heavy value exposure to volatile commodity prices and seemingly little competitive advantage in either deal flow or operations. But a brave few have tried, and in at least one case succeeded:
Warburg Pincus and Blackstone Capital Partners are set to make a four times return on their investment in West African oil company Kosmos after oil giant ExxonMobil agreed to acquire Kosmos’ stake in Ghana’s Jubilee oil field for $4bn, according to reports.
I checked the Warburg Pincus website and found that:
Warburg Pincus led the company’s initial $300 million equity financing in 2004, and also led a $500 million follow-on equity financing in 2008.
I then checked the news for when in 2008 (makes a big difference!), and it was in June, or basically when oil prices were well above $100/bbl and racing towards $150. So it's not as if Blackstone and Warburg simply bet on and nailed the commodity cycle - it seems their add-on investment came at the peak. It seems the bet was more on the management team and their track record, which is impressive. That said, I doubt we see too many more of these deals - with the recent levels of commodity volatility, most major PE firms are shying away from direct commodity price exposure and looking for more indirect ways to get exposure to the overall volume and price growth.

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