, , and have announced New Market Tax Credit financing totaling $20.5 million for rPlanet Earth, a new "green tech" company focused on making polyethylene terephthalate (PET) recycling more efficient.
Citi has agreed to provide $7.5 million in low-cost debt and $6.6 million of equity, while New Markets Community Capital and MBS Urban Initiatives will provide $8 million and $5 million, respectively, in low-cost debt. Private investors will provide the remainder of the capital, which will be used to build rPlanet Earth’s first plant for manufacturing food-grade plastic containers — mostly clear water and soda bottles — from post-consumer PET. To be located in Vernon, California, the facility is expected to create more than a hundred high-quality jobs.
"New Markets Community Capital/TELACU is honored to have been able to team with Citi and MBS Urban Initiatives in providing New Markets Tax Credits to close the financing gap that allows rPlanet Earth to move forward with the tenant improvements of a new leading edge technology manufacturing facility in one of the more highly distressed communities in Los Angeles and that will also result in the creation of a substantial number of good paying jobs," said Jose Villalobos, senior vice president of New Markets Community Capital. "The rPlanet Earth project will serve as a catalyst for decades to come as the community moves to rebuild and to once again thrive."