Paladin leads $1bn Brazilian ethanol financing

The 'homeland security' private equity firm has led a consortium spanning three continents to launch Vital Renewable Energy.

Washington, DC-based Paladin Capital Group, a homeland security-focused private equity firm, has led a consortium providing more than $1 billion in financing to launch Brazilian ethanol producer Vital Renewable Energy.

A consortium of private investors from the US, Europe and the Middle East participated in the financing including: Sao Paulo-based private equity and advisory firm Vision Brazil Investments; AIM-listed green energy investor Leaf Clean Energy ; a specialised investment fund of Benelux foreign exchange broker Petercam Asset Management; and US-based fund-of-funds and co-investment fund PCG Clean Energy & Technology Fund.

As a result of the financing, Vital Renewable Energy is now ready to launch ethanol and electricity generation projects in Brazil. Construction has begun on the company’s first production facility, located in Sao Paulo. The company will also consider purchases of existing ethanol facilities and investment opportunities in ethanol infrastructure.

Paladin closed its third fund in September on $340 million after launching it the previous year. The fund invests in companies whose services and products address homeland security needs specifically through alternative energy, bio-fuels and infrastructure protection.

Paladin, founded in 2001, closed its prior fund in 2004 on $235 million. The firm has a wealth of homeland security experience behind it, including James Woolsey, former director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Kenneth Minihan, former director of the National Security Agency, and Lee Buchanan, former assistant secretary of the Navy for research, development and acquisition.