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Palladium Equity Partners Announces Investment in PROMERICA Bank

PR Newswire

NEW YORK, Oct. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Palladium Equity Partners, LLC today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to invest in PROMERICA Bank (I.O.), the first Latino-owned commercial bank to form in California in more than 30 years. This is the second investment of Palladium Fund III, which closed in March 2006 with $520 million of committed capital.

Palladium's investment focus is on companies which are well-positioned to capitalize on the fast-growing U.S. Hispanic market, making PROMERICA Bank (I.O.) an ideal investment partner. Maria Contreras-Sweet, PROMERICA Bank (I.O.) Chairwoman and former Secretary of the Business, Transportation and Housing Agency for the State of California, explained, "While we are proud of the milestone we have achieved, we expect even greater accomplishments as the bank engages small businesses, be they Latino, Asian, non-ethnic or women-owned, in a concerted effort to expand the economic landscape of the region. Our approach to banking will provide our clients access to senior leadership in the personal, high touch environment they deserve."

"Palladium's investment is a tremendous addition to our business," said Contreras-Sweet. "They will provide us with more than just capital, as the partnership will also generate synergies with the potential of offering both private equity capital and conventional loans to mutual clients."

Marcos Rodriguez, Managing Partner of Palladium, added, "We are honored to partner with Ms. Contreras-Sweet and the distinguished founders and management of PROMERICA Bank in this historic endeavor. PROMERICA Bank demonstrates the potential of the fast-growing U.S. Hispanic market and is poised for tremendous growth given the significantly underserved market in Los Angeles. We look forward to contributing to its success," he added.

Contreras-Sweet, together with Edward P. Roski, Jr., Vice Chairman of PROMERICA Bank and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Majestic Realty, one of the oldest and largest privately held real estate companies in the United States, is credited with identifying the bank's organizers and leading the effort to raise the initial organizational and operating capital.

PROMERICA Bank was formed to serve the Los Angeles business community and ultimately to become a leading financial services provider to entrepreneurs and small to mid-sized businesses in the greater Los Angeles County area. This area boasts the highest number of Latino-owned businesses in the country with more than a third of all business being Latino owned. Together, these Latino businesses generate $23 billion in annual sales. Throughout the U.S., Latino-owned businesses grew 31 percent between 1997 and 2002 -- three times the national average -- and generated nearly $222 billion in revenue, according to the U.S. Census.

Mr. Rodriguez and Ms. Contreras-Sweet, both members of the New America Alliance (NAA), will share insights on their partnership at the NAA Wall Street Summit taking place in New York through October 27. The formation of PROMERICA is a concrete example of American Latino economic empowerment which is at the center of the NAA advocacy initiatives.

Palladium Equity Partners, LLC, based in New York, is an investment firm focusing on middle market companies in sectors including financial and business services, healthcare, retail, food, manufacturing and media. Palladium has a particular focus on companies well-positioned to capitalize on the fast-growing U.S. Hispanic market. The principals have invested more than $1 billion of equity in over 30 portfolio companies during the last two decades. Formed in 1997, Palladium currently has committed equity capital in excess of $750 million.

State-chartered PROMERICA Bank (I.O.) will be a full-service commercial bank, offering real estate and construction loans, lines of credit, and SBA loans, among other products.

Contacts: PROMERICA Bank (In Organization) Palladium Equity Partners Kat Calbes / Lisa Ruiz David Lilly / Laura Walters BLAZE Kekst 310-395-5050 212-521-4800Palladium Equity Partners, LLC

Source: PR Newswire

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