Oil tycoon T. Boone Pickens is closing the doors on his massive energy-focused hedge fund, citing health issues and waning interest.
"It's no secret the past year has not been good to me, from a health perspective or a financial one", Pickens, 89, wrote in the letter. He is still recovering from a serious fall last summer and suffered a series of strokes in late 2016. "But for me, personally, trading oil is not as intriguing to me as it once was". The oil crash that began in 2014 roiled several energy-focused funds as prices fell by more than 70%.
Oil trader Andy Hall a year ago closed his main Astenbeck Capital Management fund after betting oil would more quickly pull out of a rout that started in late 2014. Pierre Andurand's Andurand Commodities Fund lost 4.47 percent in 2017, according to data from HSBC, while Merchant Commodity Fund fell 11.6 percent previous year and is down 0.4 percent so far in 2018. The second came in 1996, when he resigned from Mesa Petroleum, which he had founded and led as CEO for almost 40 years.
While he early on gained dealmaking notoriety - or celebrity, depending on the interpretation - for attempting leveraged buyouts of energy companies, he also has done much more to push for US energy independence. Even though many did not succeed, he and his investors made substantial money from the sale of stock of his targets. Pickens always denied that. He spent in excess of $100 million to promote the effort, a spokesman said.
Their energy commodities fund will start operations next week with about $25 million, mostly from past BP Capital investors. Going forward, he said, the BP Capital Fund would move toward a "family office structure", and key members of the fund will be striking out on their own.
Pickens remains involved in his charitable foundation and on the board of Clean Energy Fuels Corp, which operates natural gas refueling stations.
Pickens, who founded and has chaired BP Capital and TBP Investments Management since 1996, posted his decision online.