GCM Grosvenor Closes on its $85 Million Strategic Capital Partnership with Bakersfield Renewable Fuels

Investment provides financing for the retrofitting of an oil refinery in Bakersfield, California to a renewable diesel bio-refinery, marking another milestone for GCM Grosvenor’s Labor Impact Strategy.

Chicago, June 3, 2020 – GCM Grosvenor, a global alternative asset management firm, announced today that it has closed on an agreement to provide $85 million in debt financing to Bakersfield Renewable Fuels (“BKRF”) to help retool the former Alon oil refinery in Bakersfield, California. GCM Grosvenor joins Orion Energy Partners, L.P. (“Orion Energy”) and Voya Investment Management (“Voya”) in providing a total of $365 million in capital to BKRF.

The investment is part of GCM Grosvenor’s Labor Impact Strategy, which focuses on investing in infrastructure assets that rely on collaboration with union labor to seek opportunities that generate high-quality risk-adjusted returns for investors.

BKRF’s retooling of the facility is expected to take 18 to 20 months, with the primary work being conducted by union trades through a local Bakersfield engineering, procurement and construction contractor. The project is expected to create over 255,000 union work-hours across a wide range of trades, and provide substantial ongoing union work post-completion.

BKRF is a special purpose vehicle wholly owned by Global Clean Energy Holdings, Inc. (“GCE”), which was created to purchase the existing Alon refinery. BKRF will retool a portion of the refinery into a renewable diesel (“RD”) bio-refinery that relies on GCE’s proprietary camelina oil as well as traditional biofuel feedstocks such as waste fats, oils and greases to produce RD and other renewable products. RD is an established “drop-in replacement” for diesel fuel and, when compared to conventional diesel, is 100% sustainable and can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 80%. The project’s output will be sold under a long-term offtake agreement with a multinational oil company.

“GCM Grosvenor is excited to announce this collaboration with Orion Energy and Voya to finance GCE’s transformative refinery that will move us one step closer to a sustainable future,” said Matthew Rinklin, Managing Director at GCM Grosvenor. “This transaction is a great example of our Labor Impact Strategy’s ability to provide structured financing solutions and infrastructure development expertise in partnership with union labor to help drive positive investment outcomes.”

The investment in the bio-refinery marks the third investment in the last year for the Labor Impact Strategy.  In December 2019, the strategy acquired a 49.9% equity interest in the Long Ridge Energy Terminal from Fortress Transportation and Infrastructure Investors (NYSE: FTAI) for $150 million in cash plus an earn-out. Construction of the project is expected to generate more than 900,000 union work-hours. Read more.

Earlier in 2019, GCM Grosvenor announced a partnership for the development of a cold storage platform across the U.S. and Canada. The cold storage company has adopted the Labor Investment Strategy’s responsible contractor policy and its first development is projected to generate a substantial number of union work-hours across a variety of trades.

“We strongly believe there is a large universe of investment opportunities in which collaborating with union labor on the development or operation of an infrastructure asset can enable positive investment outcomes,” said Fred Pollock, GCM Grosvenor’s Chief Investment Officer. “We feel we are just scratching the surface of such opportunities.”

About GCM Grosvenor
GCM Grosvenor is a global alternative asset management firm with $55 billion in assets under management in hedge fund strategies, private equity, infrastructure, real estate, credit, and multi-asset class solutions. GCM Grosvenor is one of the largest, most diversified independent alternative asset management firms worldwide, and has offered alternative investment solutions since 1971. The firm is headquartered in Chicago, with offices in New York, Los Angeles, London, Tokyo, Hong Kong, and Seoul, serving a global client base of institutional and high net worth investors.

GCM Grosvenor’s Labor Impact Strategy seeks to originate and execute infrastructure projects that leverage the inclusion of union labor as a contributing factor to enabling attractive risk-adjusted returns. The goal of the strategy is to find attractive infrastructure investment opportunities that can be unlocked through close cooperation across labor, government, and private capital.

SOURCE: GCM Grosvenor

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Will Braun and Julia Berkowitz
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