Reno's ELP Capital seeks OK for investment vehicles

ELP Capital Inc. of Reno seeks regulatory approval for two investment funds that will target well-heeled sophisticated individual investors.

Thomas Powell, the chief executive officer of ELP Capital Inc., says the funds mark an effort to jump-start the northern Nevada economy by channeling local investment dollars into local projects.

The company last week filed a notice with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that it believes the two funds are exempt from securities regulations because they will be sold to a limited number of investors or to buyers who meet the SEC's standards for accredited investors. (Those standards include net worth and annual income for individual investors.)

The ELP Strategic Asset Fund LLC has raised $450,000 so far, the company said in an SEC filing. There's no maximum size on the fund, and minimum investments are set at $250,000.

A second fund, ELP Opportunity Fund 1 GBLL LLC, is planned to raised $2.3 million. So far, $100,000 has been raised. Minimum investment in the fund is $50,000.

ELP Capital, incorporated in 2004, has managed debt and equity financing of real estate. The company traces its beginnings to IntoHomes LLC, a residential mortgage lender launched by Powell in 1999.

Along with Powell, its board includes Jesse Haw, president of Hawco Properties of Spanish Springs, and Bob Barone, chairman of Ancora West Trust Co. in Reno.

Powell, who's also an author of books and articles, has argued recently that private investors can play a major role in getting the construction and development markets moving again if they'll fund stalled quality projects.

"This recession ... left a stockpile of quality real-estate projects to collect dust. Without proper funding, the projects remain undeveloped, unproductive and severely underemployed. Placing our private capital into quality projects will bolster the number of available jobs in our communities and get people behind a meaningful cause," he wrote in an essay this month.

ELP Capital expects to charge an annual management fee of 1 percent of the funds' assets, and it also may collect a performance fee.

Along with the two investment funds, ELP Capital last week filed SEC paperwork for exempt offerings of securities in two real estate funds.

One of the filings covers ELP Mortgage Fund III The Ridges LLC. The company said $2.1 million of the $2.5 million fund has been sold to accredited investors.

The second filing covered ELP Acquisition Fund Citi Centre LLC, which has raised about $3.28 million of a $4.5 million offering. Sales of the fund began in August 2008.


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