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Calif. firm invests in Friedola Tech

Staff Report
Published Nov. 28, 2012

Menlo Park, Calif.-based Silver Lake Kraftwerk announced Wednesday an investment of $40.1 million in Friedola Tech, which plans for its subsidiary to open a manufacturing facility in Greenville.

Based in Geismar, Germany, Friedola Tech is a recycled-plastics processing company serving the automotive and packaging industries. Friedola Tech’s subsidiary, Con-Pearl North America, announced plans in September to establish its first North American production facility in Greenville.

Con-Pearl North America, a maker of lightweight recycled-plastic boards, will locate its new facility at 6400 Augusta Road in Greenville. The $14.25 million investment is expected to generate 51 new jobs over the next five years.

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This investment follows Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers’ initial investment of an undisclosed amount in Friedola Tech in 2010. Kleiner Perkins also is a Menlo Park, Calif.-based venture capital firm.

Silver Lake’s investment will provide growth capital to enable further product innovation, development in key market segments, expansion into new geographic regions and the opening of a manufacturing facility in Greenville.

Under the terms of the transaction, WHEB Partners, a European-based private equity firm, has agreed to sell its majority stake in Friedola Tech to Silver Lake Kraftwerk. WHEB Partners will remain as a shareholder.

Once the transaction has closed, Silver Lake Kraftwerk will become the majority owner, alongside existing co-investor Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, which co-led the transaction and increased its ownership of Friedola Tech. This transaction marks the first co-investment between Silver Lake and KPCB.

“We are excited to partner with WHEB and KPCB (Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers) as investors in Friedola Tech,” Silver Lake Kraftwerk Partner Josh Raffaelli said in a news release. “There is a growing global market for engineered plastics and industrial products that are lightweight and reusable. Friedola Tech is uniquely positioned as a market leader in this industry and we are eager to support their growth and expansion.”

Friedola Tech supplies lightweight, recyclable and environmentally-friendly plastic solutions to a variety of industries. Silver Lake’s stake in the company marks its first major investment in resource efficiency and its first investment outside of the United States.

Silver Lake Kraftwerk is a capital investment firm focused on energy and resource innovation. It invests in companies that leverage technology and business model innovation in the energy and resource industries.

Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers has a significant portfolio. The firm was an early investor in many companies, including Amazon, AOL, Compaq, Electronic Arts and Google, to name a few.

Advisers on the deal were Blackwood Capital Group, Taylor Wessing, mb+p, Deloitte, WilmerHale and Hogan Lovells. The deal is currently pending anti-trust approval by the German authorities.

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