William Macaulay, First Reserve

First Reserve celebrates 30 years of global energy investing

First Reserve is celebrating its 30th year in global energy investing, making it the oldest and largest global private equity firm exclusively focused on energy.

Having begun their careers in energy investing in the early 1970s, William "Bill" Macaulay (pictured) and John Hill co-founded First Reserve in 1983 with the takeover of several distressed private energy funds.

Since that time, the firm has raised more than USD23bn of aggregate capital since inception and now maintains the largest energy-focused private equity investment team in the industry. Its 41 active portfolio companies in the Buyout Funds and Infrastructure Fund trade on five market exchanges and operate in approximately 50 countries.

"Back when John and I founded First Reserve, the energy industry was in disarray and there was little institutional interest in oil and gas investments," says Macaulay. "The opportunity set began to change dramatically in the 1990s with a wave of worldwide industry consolidation.  We were able to capitalise on this market transformation by leveraging our strategy of building value by building companies, while maintaining our focus on helping investors to reach their goals."

The firm's initial focus was primarily on exploration and production (E&P) companies in the US. It went on to leverage its E&P expertise internationally, and to invest across the energy value chain, including equipment and services (E&S).

In addition to E&P and E&S, First Reserve invests in the midstream/downstream and energy infrastructure sectors, among others. Its investments have included Bahamas Oil Refining Company International Limited (BORCO), sold to Buckeye Partners in 2011, and PBF Energy that went public on the New York Stock Exchange in December 2012.

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