Carlyle Group to invest $500 m in Magna Energy

Magna founders are former Cairn executives

NASDAQ-listed global alternative asset manager Carlyle Group has committed to invest $500 million in India-focused oil firm and upstream oil and gas company, Magna Energy.

“Funding for the investment will come from Carlyle International Energy Partners (CIEP), a fund that focuses on oil and gas exploration and production, midstream, and refining and marketing in Europe, Africa, Latin America and Asia. This investment is led by managing director and head of CIEP Marcel van Poecke and managing director Bob Maguire,” Carlyle said in a release.

Magna Energy, led by Mike Watts and Jann Brown, is targeting the building of acreage positions in the Indian Subcontinent, with the objective of creating a full-cycle oil and gas company, through acquisitions and local licensing rounds.

“Magna’s primary focus will be development and production with a secondary focus on exploration. Magna’s expertise combined with additional capital and significant industry knowledge from Carlyle will help further develop the local oil and gas industry across the Indian Subcontinent, leading to greater energy security, job creation and economic growth,” Carlyle said.

Watts and Brown have sixty years’ combined experience in the oil industry. Until May 2014, Watts and Brown were the deputy chief executive officer and managing director, respectively, of oil and gas exploration and production (E&P) company Cairn Energy.

Watts has a career history of nearly 50 oil and gas discoveries in Pakistan, Thailand, Myanmar, Bangladesh, and India, cumulatively resulting in more than 500,000 boepd of production.

Brown trained with KPMG and joined Cairn in 1997, becoming its CFO in 2006, when she was the only female CFO in the FTSE 100, and its managing director in 2011. She was one of the people instrumental in Cairn India’s initial public offering (IPO), in which it raised $2 billion, the largest ever capital raising in Mumbai.

“We believe there is strong growth potential in countries such as India, Bangladesh and Myanmar, which seek to grow their local energy markets. Furthermore, we are excited at the prospect of helping to drive economic growth in the Indian subcontinent by bringing new technology and capital to the local oil and gas sector – India, in particular, is set to emerge shortly as the world’s fastest growing major global economy,” Brown and Watts, co-founders and joint CEOs of Magna said.

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