The field of firms in the U.S. formed to buy gas and power assets expanded last week after StoneCap Management LLC announced the formation of the StoneCap Group L.P., whose principals include two former Dynegy Inc. executives, Hugh Tarpley and Milton Scott.

The firm is targeting energy assets that produce, transport or deliver energy products. StoneCap also will provide value-added services, such as logistics and risk management and procurement, for wholesale, industrial and retail customers.

Tarpley said that the time is right for industry “insiders” with experience in both regulated and unregulated natural gas and electricity markets to purchase and operate undervalued energy assets. “Following an unprecedented roller-coaster year in the merchant energy business, and the short-term failure of electricity deregulation in certain regions of the U.S., the ‘incumbent’ companies are finding it necessary to divest assets in order to improve their balance sheets and enhance liquidity.

“We believe this environment signals an ideal opportunity to acquire assets, maximize their operating efficiencies through sound economic and management practices, provide solid returns to investors in the near-term, while positioning the assets to benefit when the industry recovers.”

Scott noted that today’s stakeholders — investors, employees and regulatory officials — expect the highest standards in corporate accountability and financial performance. “Our intention is to assemble a top-flight group of seasoned professionals with the knowledge, motivation and ability to extract value from underperforming or non-strategic energy assets,” said Scott. “However, our objectives extend beyond financial performance. We also intend to make customer service a top priority.”

Scott most recently was executive vice president and chief administrative officer at Dynegy. He joined Dynegy after 22 years with the Houston office of Arthur Andersen, LLP. Tarpley previously served as executive vice president for strategic investments at Dynegy.

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