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VENTANA'S NORTH AMERICA ENVIRONMENTAL FUND COMMITS TO FIRST FINANCING, $5 MILLION TO GRUPO FYPASA

 IRVINE, Calif., Oct. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Ventana, a global private investment group, and its North American Environmental Fund L.P. (NAEF), today announced its first financing commitment, $5 million in Grupo Fypasa.
 This is considered a positive step where NAFTA is concerned because these funds will be used to finance the Ecosys projects and enlarge Grupo Fypasa's environmental activities. Ecosys is a water treatment project that consists of design, construction, and operation of three municipal water treatment plants in Toluca-Lerma. Ecosys will require a total of $40 million for project financing, $20 million of which will be used to purchase United States-manufactured equipment.
 "Creating such win-win situation is the essence of NAFTA. With the approval of this important legislation, the project financings, which are critical to the infrastructure, will become much easier," noted Thomas O. Gephart, chairman of the Fund and of Ventana.
 NAEF has raised $30 million of the $50 million it intends to invest in environmental technology and product companies for both industrial and urban applications. However, the Fund believes that it should attract $300 million in co-investment private equity capital and possibly as much as $1 billion of project financing. This goes a long way toward filling the financing gap of $1.9 billion reported at the United States/Mexico infrastructure meeting held in San Antonio, Texas, in July.
 Ventana's capital deployment strategy is to provide expansion capital to Mexican and United States environmental companies. It already has advisory board approval on two other of the 15 projects it intends to finance over 10 years. And, indicative of Gephart's innovative approach, the Fund may eventually take these companies public in a new small-capitalization affiliate of the Mexican stock market, Bolsa de Valores, or effect a merger and IPO through NASDAQ.
 Nacional Financiera S.N.C. (Nafin), one of Ventana's global partners, and the Overseas Economic Cooperation Fund (OECF) of Japan have each committed to provide 25 percent of the Fund's capital, or $12.5 million each.
 Other important partners in NAEF are Pemex, Mexico's state energy company, and Chicago-based WMX Technologies, formerly Waste Management Inc., the nation's largest waste handler, as well as Grupo ICA of Mexico; Hasa S.A. of Spain; Ebara Corp. and Nippon Kokan of Japan; Fidelitas N.V. of Belgium; and private investors from Cyprus.
 Grupo Fypasa, a Mexican environmental company, was established in Mexico City in 1942. The group is comprised of companies that focus on design and development of the infrastructure for water treatment, sanitary installations, and construction in general. The group's goal is to apply water treatment technology by providing cost-effective wastewater solutions.
 The fund is the newest addition to the Ventana group of financial organizations which include Ventana Growth Funds, Ventana International Ltd., and Ventana Leasing Inc. Since 1983, Ventana has established six private equity capital growth funds, a leasing fund, and a private investment banking group.
 Ventana, a global private investment group with $150 million under management has attracted $850 million for its 46 portfolio companies. Ventana's business sectors are equity leasing, asset management, growth capital investing, and corporate finance/private investment banking. As a result of these business activities, Ventana has created 5,000 jobs.
 Ventana's corporate headquarters are located in Orange County at 2301 Dupont Drive, Suite 430, Irvine, CA 92715. The telephone number is 714-476-2204. The San Diego office is at 8880 Rio San Diego Drive, Suite 500, San Diego, CA 92108. The telephone number is 619-291-2756. Ventana's Mexico City office is at Avenida Lomas de Sotelo, 1112 Despacho 202, Colonia Loma Hermosa, Mexico, D.F. The telephone number is 011/52-5-3958247.
 -0- 10/21/93
 /CONTACT: Steve Eisner or Devon Blaine of The Blaine Group, 213-938-2577/


CO: Ventana; North America Environmental Fund L.P.; Grupo Fypasa ST: California IN: ENV SU:

MF-LS -- LA010 -- 5232 10/21/93 12:39 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 21, 1993
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