Triana Energy, Morgan Stanley ink partnership

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, June 2 -- Morgan Stanley Private Equity, New York, has entered into a strategic partnership with and made the majority investment in private Triana Energy Investments LLC, Charleston, W.Va.

Triana Energy is a natural gas exploration and production company with operations focused on the Appalachian basin, including the Marcellus shale. This investment is intended to be the first step in a broader partnership as Triana Energy expands operations to become a leading North American energy company, Morgan Stanley said.

Triana Energy was founded by Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Henry Harmon in 2006. Harmon was previously president of Columbia Natural Resources Inc., the natural gas E&P subsidiary of Columbia Energy, a division of NiSource.

Columbia Natural Resources was acquired in 2003 by Harmon and his prior company, also called Triana Energy, and also with financial support provided by Morgan Stanley Private Equity through its Morgan Stanley Capital Partners IV fund.

This is Morgan Stanley Private Equity's second investment with Harmon and the Triana Energy management team and its fourth investment in the Appalachian basin. Morgan Stanley Private Equity pursued a similar investment strategy with the Triana Energy team in 2001-05 that concluded with a successful sale to Chesapeake Energy Corp. for more than $2.2 billion.

The current Triana Energy management team comprises senior executives from the prior company, including Harmon, Dick Beardsley, chief geoscientist, Shawn Casey, vice-president-land, Mark Chandler, chief financial officer, and Jim Dissen, vice-president-corporate development. It also includes Ray Prudnick, vice-president-operations, and Jim Jarrell, vice-president and general counsel.

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