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Quantum Eyes $5.5 Billion for New Fund Amid Energy-Market Rout

Sonali Basak and Gillian Tan

(Bloomberg) -- Quantum Energy Partners is in discussions to raise roughly $5.5 billion for a new fund designed to pounce on opportunities that arise amid turmoil in energy markets, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The Houston-based private equity firm, which sold a minority stake to Neuberger Berman’s Dyal Capital Partners, has begun discussing the new fund with prospective investors, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the plans aren’t public. It’s seeking to make new investments amid limited competition from beaten-down energy companies and a potential decline in available capital among other private investors, one of the people said.

A final decision on the fund’s size hasn’t been made, and it could be more or less than $5.5 billion depending on the amount raised in so-called co-investment vehicles as well as the combined commitment from Quantum’s owners, which include its executives and Dyal, one of the people said.

Quantum spokesman Michael Dalton declined to comment.

The fundraising plans come at a time when rival energy funds are being roiled by a steep decline in oil futures. Quantum’s founder, Wil VanLoh, painted an apocalyptic scenario last month in a hearing with the Texas Railroad Commission, saying the energy industry could be “destroyed” unless state regulators help cut production in the U.S.

The firm was founded in 1998 and has managed more than $17 billion since its inception, according to Quantum’s website. It was valued at more than $4 billion in the Dyal transaction, said one of the people with knowledge of the matter.

A Neuberger spokesman declined to comment.

Flagship Fund

In the summer of 2018, Quantum raised $5.58 billion for its most recent flagship fund, Quantum Energy Partners VII LP, which was backed by investors including the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That fund is now roughly 50% invested, one of the people said.

Last month, one of the companies Quantum has invested in, DoublePoint Energy LLC, said it increased a syndicated credit facility, which will help in its pursuit of opportunities in the Permian Basin.

“The Permian Basin stands above all others in its ability to produce low-cost barrels,” Quantum President Dheeraj Verma said in a statement at the time. “These challenging times highlight the importance of quality management teams and quality assets.”

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