LOS ANGELES, Sept. 30, 2009 -- Craton Equity Partners, a leading Southern California clean technology fund, has made a $20 million investment commitment to Liquid Environmental Solutions (LES), the premier non-hazardous liquid waste collection and treatment company in the United States.
Established in 2002, LES (http://www.liquidenviro.com/), with offices in Dallas and San Diego, provides its commercial and industrial customers with an effective way to manage and properly dispose of their liquid waste. In its core business, LES handles the disposal of grease trap waste generated by more than 12,000 food establishments, such as restaurants, fast food chains, supermarkets, and school cafeterias. This service allows LES customers to focus on their core business and comply with local regulatory requirements, while municipalities benefit from a reduction in the frequency of back-ups and spills related to grease buildup in public sewer systems. Improper disposal of waste grease has caused cities and states hundreds of millions of dollars in infrastructure and cleanup costs resulting from sewer overflows.
"LES is helping municipalities keep wastewater flowing and free of harmful contaminants at a time of unprecedented strain on wastewater treatment systems," said Tom Soto, Managing Partner of Craton Equity Partners and Craton's designated member of the Board of LES. "With a focus on the underserved grease-trap segment and a commitment to regulatory compliance and customer service, LES has already demonstrated its winning strategy in capturing the market it has today."
LES services over 15,000 locations from California to Alabama. The company operates seven wastewater treatment facilities and an interstate fleet of trucks driven by highly trained waste-collection specialists. In addition to its signature services to the food service industry, LES provides liquid waste disposal services to a broad range of commercial and industrial customers, including car washes, fleet maintenance facilities and manufacturers. The company will use the funds from the Craton investment to expand its operations and geographic reach.
As concerns over greenhouse gas emissions, pollution and the security of energy and water intensify, the market for clean technologies that address these issues continues to grow. Venture investment in the cleantech sector has picked up considerably in 2009, amid stabilizing economic conditions, the improved availability of credit, and a global infusion of government stimulus funds allocated for infrastructure and energy system overhauls.
"Craton's understanding of regulatory processes and expertise in this arena is unmatched, and that can only help LES meet the needs of its customers," said Alan Viterbi, co-founder and CEO of LES.
About Craton Equity Partners
Craton Equity Partners (http://cratonep.com/) is a nationally known and leading Southern California cleantech fund, focused on bringing to market technologies that respond to the effects of climate change and environmental degradation. Craton's investments include green building products, earth heat exchange projects, smart grid technologies and next-generation biofuels. Craton is one of the country's leading voices on sustainable investing and using investment models to respond effectively to the urgent environmental challenges of our time.