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Silver Lake Kraftwerk Announces Majority Stake In Friedola®Tech, Marking First Co-Investment With Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers

MENLO PARK, Calif., Nov. 28, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Silver Lake Kraftwerk, a leading global growth capital investment strategy focused on energy and resource innovation, today announced a commitment of €31 million ( USD$40.1 million) in friedola ®Tech, a premier recycled plastics processing company that produces high-quality, environmentally-friendly products and components for the automotive and packaging industries. Silver Lake Kraftwerk is the energy investment strategy of Silver Lake, the world's leading investor in the global technology industry.

The investment will provide growth capital to enable further product innovation, development in key market segments and expansion into new geographic regions, including the opening of a world-class manufacturing facility in Greenville, South Carolina.

Under the terms of the transaction, WHEB Partners, a European-based resource efficiency private equity firm, has agreed to sell its majority stake in friedola ®Tech to Silver Lake Kraftwerk while remaining an important shareholder. Once the transaction has closed, Silver Lake Kraftwerk will become the majority owner, alongside existing co-investor Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB), which co-led the transaction and increased its ownership of friedola ®Tech. This transaction marks the first co-investment between Silver Lake and KPCB.

Based in Geismar, Germany, friedola ®Tech is a leading manufacturer and marketer of recycled plastic products with a focus on the automotive and packaging sectors. The company supplies lightweight, recyclable and environmentally-friendly plastic solutions to a variety of industries and boasts an innovative and proprietary product portfolio, including their signature product platform, CON-Pearl. As a Tier-1 supplier, friedola ®Tech's plastic solutions are a key component in the lightweight efforts of a number of their customers, including leading car manufacturers.

A leader in innovative environmental technologies, friedola ®Tech directly contributes to improved emissions and fuel economy standards in the automotive industry, and greater efficiency in the logistics and packaging sectors. 

"We are excited to partner with WHEB and KPCB as investors in friedola ®Tech," said Josh Raffaelli, Partner, Silver Lake Kraftwerk. "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."

Silver Lake Kraftwerk invests in companies that leverage technology and business model innovation in the energy and resource industries. Its stake in friedola ®Tech marks Silver Lake Kraftwerk's first major investment in resource efficiency and its first investment outside of the United States.

"We look forward to working with Silver Lake Kraftwerk, KPCB and WHEB Partners as we position friedola ®Tech for continued growth and expansion," said Christoph Holzapfel, Chief Executive Officer, friedola ®Tech. "With Silver Lake's global presence, technology expertise and focus on value creation, we are confident the firm will make an excellent partner as we grow our business," added Werner Eisenhardt, Chief Financial Officer, friedola ®Tech.

"friedola®Tech is a great success story," said Jorg Sperling, a Partner at WHEB Partners. "The company was an under-appreciated asset after facing serious challenges during the 2008/09 crisis in the global automotive industry. By stabilizing the company financially and by pursuing growth aggressively, friedola®Tech is now the leading provider of highly innovative, recyclable and lightweight plastic components used in a variety of industries. The company is now ready to expand in the United States and we are thrilled to bring such a renowned investor, Silver Lake Kraftwerk, on board to support the company's internationalization."

Advisers on the deal were Blackwood Capital Group (M&A support for WHEB Partners and friedola ®Tech), Taylor Wessing (legal adviser to friedola ®Tech), mb+p (Commercial Due Diligence), Deloitte (Financial Due Diligence), WilmerHale (legal adviser to Silver Lake Kraftwerk) and Hogan Lovells (legal adviser to Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers).

The deal is currently pending anti-trust approval by the German authorities.

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