Darby backs Brazil ethanol deal

Darby contributed $15m from its latest mezzanine fund to a $31m refinancing undertaken by Vital Renewable Energy to expand a Brazilian ethanol facility. 

The private equity arm of Franklin Templeton Investments has backed Vital Renewable Energy (VREC) for $15 million as part of a $31 million refinancing. Darby Private Equity completed the investment through Darby Latin American Mezzanine Fund II.

VREC operates a sugar and ethanol facility in Goiás. The company is backed by Paladin Capital Group, Leaf Clean Energy, Petercam, and Capital Dynamics, according to a statement.

The financing will allow Vital to complete the next phase of its industrial and agricultural expansion of the facility.

“We are very pleased to have concluded this investment in VREC as it reinforces Darby’s longstanding commitment to investing in the region and specifically in Brazil. We believe VREC has successfully navigated the challenges of the sugar and ethanol sector in Brazil over the past five years and is well positioned to take advantage of a more favorable environment going forward,” said Darby managing director Richard Frank in a statement.

Darby was founded by former US Secretary of the Treasury Nicholas Brady in 1994. The firm became a subsidiary of Franklin Templeton Investments in 2003.