Today, SAIL Capital Partners, LLC of Irvine, CA and SAIL Sustainable Partners of Louisiana, LLC (SSP), announced the creation of The Louisiana Sustainability Fund (LSF), a new private capital fund dedicated to building a sustainable economic future in Louisiana by investing in clean technology and sustainable industry. The Fund is expected to impact green jobs and businesses in Louisiana through the investment of private capital in later stage growth companies with proven technologies, either currently in Louisiana or positioned to locate in Louisiana, that are making significant contributions to sustainable economic growth.
"We believe that the potential for economic growth through investment in sustainable businesses in Louisiana is extraordinary," commented SSP Chairman of the Board and SAIL Capital Partners Managing Partner Walter Schindler. "We believe that now, because of a variety of factors, including tax incentives and growth in the cleantech sector, Louisiana is ripe for this kind of investment. SAIL is inspired to play a leading role in the growth of cleantech business in the state and have a positive impact on continued rebuilding efforts and economic growth."
The Fund will work in cooperation with governmental and non-governmental organizations to drive economic development and transformation, and lay a solid foundation for innovation and prosperity in Louisiana. The state was chosen as the core for the new private capital fund because it comprises an opportune mixture of valuable resources and intellectual capital in the areas of energy, water and agriculture, coupled with strong tax incentives for businesses and pro-growth policies. In addition, since the beginning of the national economic recession, Louisiana's economy continues to outperform the South and the U.S. and secure top spots in national business rankings.
"Louisiana is more than the place that I grew up in. It is a special place that I want to give back to and shape its prosperity and recovery in any way that I can," commented Wendell Pierce, actor from HBO's "Treme" and community activist. "Whether it's working on the revitalization of the hurricane-battered Pontchartrain Park or my partnership with LSF, I am fortunate enough to have a unique position in this community to impact change for the greater good of Louisiana. When I first learned about LSF I was particularly inspired by the Fund's 'green' element. I feel strongly that the 'green' element is not pie in the sky, but actually tangible in this generation. In addition, we have seen that businesses who embrace cleantech can be profitable," Pierce continued.
The Fund will invest in the areas of energy, water and green innovation. These investments will have a significant nexus within the economy of Louisiana in one or more meaningful ways, including job creation, economic impact, increased trade, sustainable development, and beneficial environmental impact. In addition, the Fund will measure the investment's potential for long-term economic development and profitability in Louisiana. The Fund's investment strategy selects convertible debt investments with warrants in later stage companies and drives value creation by participating in equity upside. The Fund will mitigate risks by focusing on late stage businesses with proven technologies and strong management teams that posses a solid foundation for growth and job creation.
"The Louisiana Sustainability Fund will provide a private pool of capital which with public sector incentives will spur economic development in Louisiana," said SSP Managing Partner R. Foster Duncan. "The Fund has vast potential to accelerate Louisiana's push toward positively impacting business enterprises that embrace sustainability and environmental stewardship while providing our investors with attractive, conservative returns."
Sustainable investment is on the rise according to industry leaders. New global investment in clean energy reached $243 billion in 2010, up from $186.5 billion in 2009, while venture capital and private equity investment in the industry grew 28%.
"Businesses who embrace cleantech can be profitable," said SSP General Partner and Whole Foods Board Chairman John Elstrott. "We could have picked Orange County, Silicon Valley or any number of places, but we chose Louisiana because for us it represents a new frontier for sustainable enterprise, entrepreneurship and innovation."
The Louisiana Sustainability Fund includes a well-rounded team of experienced financial and cleantech experts focused on capturing the best business models emerging through the global cleantech pipeline and supporting their efforts for growth and expansion in Louisiana. In addition to its management team, the Louisiana Sustainability Fund's Louisiana Advisory Board will review and approve the investment's impact on the state. Furthermore, its Louisiana-based Investor Advisory Board will evaluate the merits of the investment with the advice and support from a Louisiana Financial Advisor to ensure the focus of the Fund is on the long-term best interests of the state and to resolve any conflict of interest issues in accordance with customary best practices.
The general partners of the Louisiana Sustainability Fund represent a group with strong ties to Louisiana including New Orleans native Walter Schindler, chairman of the board; R. Foster Duncan, managing partner, and New Orleanian; Hank Habicht, managing partner; John Elstrott, general partner, and board chairman for Whole Foods; Louis Freeman, Jr., general partner, and New Orleanian, as well as Alan Sellers, general partner and New Orleans native.
SAIL Capital Partners, the founding cleantech investment firm behind Louisiana Sustainability Partners was founded in 2002 and has a 9-year track record of successfully investing in clean technology around the country.
For more information, visit www.sailsustain.com
ABOUT THE LOUISIANA SUSTAINABILITY FUND
Louisiana Sustainability Fund, LP ("LSF") is a Louisiana Limited Partnership being formed by SAIL Sustainable Partners of Louisiana, LLC, a private equity firm focused on investments in growth-oriented renewable energy and clean technology related companies. The Fund will work in cooperation with governmental and non-governmental organizations to drive economic impact and transformation and lay a solid foundation for sustainable innovation and prosperity in the State of Louisiana.
SAIL Capital Partners (www.sailcapital.com) is a cleantech investment firm with unique global insight into technologies, markets and opportunities. Drawing on decades of experience in cleantech and in growing successful businesses, the SAIL team invests in companies with proven technologies, visionary leadership, demonstrated revenue and profit growth potential. SAIL has invested in a number of the world's leading cleantech companies, including: The Cleantech Group, Xtreme Power, Ice Energy, Enerpulse, Kokam Advanced Batteries, SNTech Motors, M2 Renewables and WaterHealth International.
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