| NEW YORK
NEW YORK Jan 15 Global commodities merchant
Castleton Commodities International LLC, owned in part by
billionaire investors Glenn Dubin and Paul Tudor Jones, said on
Tuesday it has acquired oil and gas assets in Colorado and Utah
in a bid to build out its physical natural gas business.
The firm acquired 180 oil and gas wells, 150,000 net acres
in mineral leases, a gas processing facility and a 262-mile gas
gathering system from Houston-based Patara Oil & Gas, it said in
a press release.
"This acquisition exemplifies our investment philosophy of
focusing on quality assets that complement our existing merchant
activities and build upon our long and successful track record
in the energy sector," said William Reed II, president and chief
executive of Castleton, said in the release.
Purchasing the assets represents the company's first effort
"to pursue attractive opportunities in the upstream natural gas
Castleton will set up a Denver, Colorado-based office and
use Patara's personnel to run the operation.
Patara is backed by private equity firms Jefferies Capital
Partners, Troika Resources Investment PEF and GE Asset
Castleton is partly owned by DF Energy Acquisition LLC, a
private investment vehicle owned by Dubin. Dubin also co-founded
hedge fund Highbridge Capital Management, which he sold to
JPMorgan Chase & Co.
In October, Castleton bought and renamed the former Louis
Dreyfus Highbridge Energy, which was co-owned by French
commodity conglomerate Louis Dreyfus Group and
JPMorgan's Highbridge Capital.
Investment manager Paul Tudor Jones who owns Tudor
Investment Corp, also has a stake in Castleton through an
investment vehicle created through a family trust The same is
true for hedge fund manager Timothy Barakett and the chairman
and CEO of Continental Grain Company, Paul Fribourg.
Dubin was listed as number 285 on the Forbes 400 list of
billionaires in September 2012 with a net worth of $1.7 billion;
Tudor was number 108 on the same list, with $3.6 billion.
As tighter government regulations have forced banks to
reevaluate and pare down commodities businesses, private
equity-backed hedge funds and commodity merchants have stepped