RPT-IPO VIEW-US IPOs tap investor interest in energy, materials

* Next week’s IPOs have exposure to oil, gas, fertilizers

* Could be the leading edge of a spurt of similar IPOs

* Oil trading at 2 1/2-year highs, commodities boosted

By Alina Selyukh

NEW YORK, April 1 (Reuters) – At least three U.S. initial
public offerings next week are linked to the energy sector, and
more could be in the pipeline.

Middle East turmoil is pushing up oil prices, while a
nuclear crisis in Japan is adding to the growing demand for
alternative energy sources including liquefied natural gas.

These unexpected moves in commodities have made investors
more interested in companies that might benefit from the run-up
in prices.

“There’s a fever right now for investments allocated in the
energy space,” said Robert Lutts, president and chief
investment officer of Cabot Money Management, which has $500
million in assets under management.

Three U.S. companies with exposure to oil, gas and other
commodities are expected to begin trading on the New York Stock
Exchange on April 8:

* SandRidge Mississippian Trust I, which offers exposure to
royalty interests that SandRidge Energy (SD.N: Quote, Profile, Research) pays on three
dozen oil and gas wells in Oklahoma;

* Golar LNG Partners LP, a subsidiary of Golar LNG
(GLNG.O: Quote, Profile, Research), a U.S. liquefied natural gas shipper, which also owns
offshore units that turn LNG back into regular natural gas;

* CVR Partners LP, which makes nitrogen fertilizer out of
petroleum coke produced at a Coffeyville, Kansas oil refinery
of parent CVR Energy (CVI.N: Quote, Profile, Research), an oil refiner and retailer.

“If these deals are successful… broadly speaking, that
will be a catalyst for other people to revisit their plans,”
said Tim Gould, head of U.S. equity capital markets at
Macquarie Capital.

“There are opportunities for investors and companies alike
in the current environment and, hopefully, it’s part of an
ongoing trend.”

Sources have told Reuters that several bigger energy and
commodities companies could float later this year, while many
smaller players all across the board within natural resources,
energy and commodities are also weighing such plans.

Highlighting the trend, global commodities trader Glencore
International AG [GLEN.UL] is preparing an IPO for listing in
Hong Kong that could raise $10 billion, sources familiar with
the matter have said [ID:nL3E7F11G0].

U.S. crude oil futures (CLc1: Quote, Profile, Research) have surged in recent months,
trading at 2 1/2-year highs on Friday over $107 per barrel.

Demand has also been soaring for raw materials and natural
resources such as coal, metals and agriculture-related
products, helped by the booming growth of developing countries
and especially China, a major importer.

Energy and natural resources are “a very important part of
every investment bank’s dialogue with companies,” Gould said.

Investment bankers have also said that as Japan begins
recovering from the devastation of earthquakes and a tsunami,
interest could grow in raw materials producers, exporters and
other companies that cater to the rebuilding efforts.

What is more, bankers said the continuing nuclear crisis in
Japan could trigger more worries about nuclear energy.

“The appetite for future nuclear is diminishing very
quickly,” said Cabot Money Management’s Lutts. “That only gives
more credence to fossil fuels and alternative energy.”

Money managers say it’s unclear how long the trend will
span, but in the short-term, energy and commodities companies
— especially domestic ones, are attractive, said Tim Holland,
a portfolio manager at Aston/TAMRO Diversified Equity Fund with
$1.5 billion in assets under management.

“If I was trying to raise capital, today — in my mind —
is a much better environment than a couple of months ago. This
is probably a good time to engage investors,” he said.
(Reporting by Alina Selyukh; Editing by Ted Kerr)

RPT-IPO VIEW-US IPOs tap investor interest in energy, materials