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Ridgetop Capital raises largest company fund for Marcellus, Utica shale property

Ridgetop Capital LLC has raised not only its sixth fund, but the largest fund to date to purchase mineral rights and land in the Marcellus and Utica shale plays.

Confirmed by the Managing Partner Brad Carpenter, Ridgetop’s fund is subscribed at $200 million, which is 10 times larger than the $20 million fund the company completed last summer.

Carpenter explained how an undisclosed new investor played a key role to the size of Ridgetop Capital VI LP.  He said the fund was open only “to existing investors and primarily, the dominant share is local.”

Investors that participated in previous Ridgetop funds were also not disclosed, but a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission showed that SEA Venture Capital Fund, the angel network of Smithfield Trust Co., was an investor.   Robert Kopf, Smithfield CEO, confirmed that SEA had invested $4 million in Ridgetop.

Related: Utica well activity

According to Pittsburgh Business Times, “Ridgetop’s premise is investing in hard assets. If companies that drill on its properties are successful, the fund’s investors collect royalties. At the very least, the investors derive income from the leases.” Right now, Ridgetop has an estimated 20,000 acres located in western Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia.

Carpenter explained that the recent drop in energy prices doesn’t faze him and believes the company could capitalize on them by purchasing real estate and mineral rights for better prices.  He explained how Ridgetop is always looking for opportunities for long-term prospects:

We’re always looking for value opportunities … The short-term dip does provide improved negotiating leverage to buy at an attractive price. While oil and gas prices have declined dramatically over the last six months, the long-term prospects for energy remain strong, and our objective is always a long-term, value-oriented investment strategy.

To read the full story about Ridgetop’s fund for Marcellus and Utica shale property, click here.

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