Refilling the pipeline
OIL’S plunge may have helped consumers, but it has hurt big private-equity firms. Earlier this month Apollo Global Management announced that profits were down by 79% year on year in the three months to December 31st. This week KKR and the Carlyle Group said they were smarting too, with KKR’s profits down by 94% and Carlyle’s by 68%. Energy-related assets, whose valuations have fallen with the oil price, are largely to blame.
Spurred on by the shale boom in America, private-equity funds have invested heavily in the energy sector. More money was raised for energy buy-outs in America in 2014, and more deals were made, than ever before, according to Preqin, a data provider. “All sorts of folks who would never have dreamed of oil and gas piled in, often loading companies with debt,” says Joel Moser of Aquamarine Investment Partners, a fund that has invested in the sector for decades.