Craton closes $192m debut cleantech fund

The growth equity investor, formerly Paladin Private Equity, has held a final close on its debut cleantech fund, slightly short of its target.

Craton Equity Partners has completed the third and final closing of its debut cleantech fund on $191.5 million (€122 million). The fund, which was targeting $200 million, held its first close on $82.5 million in December 2006.

The fund’s limited partners are institutional investors and US pension funds including the New York State Common Retirement Fund and the California Public Employees' Retirement System.

Bob MacDonald

Craton, formerly Paladin Private Equity, was founded in Los Angeles in the mid-1990s as an investment fund focussed on small companies in need of growth capital in the basic industry and manufacturing sectors. In 2005, the firm shifted its mandate to focus on cleantech and environmental technology.

Firm co-founder Bob MacDonald is the former founder of renewable energy producer Catalyst Energy, while fellow co-founder Tom Soto is a long-time environmental activist.

MacDonald and Soto are joined as general partners by chief financial officer John Gerson who was previously CFO at private equity firms Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and William E. Simon and Sons Private Equity Partners. Michael Lenard was previously a partner at William E. Simon and Sons as well as Latham & Watkins law firm.

Craton’s cleantech fund has made two investments to date in geothermal energy systems company Enlink GeoEnergy Services and green building materials producer GigaCrete.