SK Capital to support Ecopol’s rapid growth as the Company expands its production footprint into the U.S. to best serve its global customer base and leverages its innovative sustainable film capabilities to enter new markets
CHIESINA UZZANESE, Italy & NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Ecopol S.p.A. (“Ecopol” or the “Company”), a leading developer and producer of innovative biodegradable films, announced today the signing of a strategic investment from affiliates of SK Capital Partners, LP (“SK Capital”), a leading private investment firm focused on the specialty materials, ingredients, and life sciences sectors. SK Capital is acquiring a majority interest in the Company with Mauro Carbone, Ecopol’s CEO and controlling shareholder, retaining a significant stake and remaining as both the CEO and largest individual shareholder. Existing minority investor Tikehau Capital, a global alternative asset manager, will also retain a minority stake.
Headquartered in Chiesina Uzzanese, Italy, with state-of-the-art production facilities in Italy and the United States, Ecopol is a leading global provider of water-soluble and biodegradable films and delivery systems, primarily serving the fast-growing unit dose household detergent market for both automatic dishwashing and laundry applications, as well as specialty engineered stone and construction markets. Ecopol’s mission is to create sustainable delivery systems that help safeguard the planet for future generations. The Company’s rapid growth in recent years is expected to accelerate due to strong demand for its innovative films, which enable the world’s leading consumer goods companies to offer more convenient home detergent products to consumers while significantly reducing carbon emissions, plastic packaging, and water usage across their supply chains. Ecopol has invested over €70 million since 2019 to add new capacity and capabilities, including the largest solution cast polyvinyl alcohol (“PVOH”) film line in the world to serve laundry applications and a new production facility in Griffin, Georgia (USA) to better serve its global customer base.
“SK Capital is the perfect partner for Ecopol given its differentiated industry expertise, strong experience in the North American market and track record of successful partnerships with entrepreneur-led businesses,” said Ecopol CEO Mauro Carbone. “Our organisations share the same core values and commitment to a more sustainable future that have defined Ecopol’s success to date. Ecopol is grateful to Tikehau Capital for their support as we have expanded meaningfully and invested to support rapid growth alongside our valued customers. As we embark on our next chapter and continue to invest in innovation and capacity, we are fully aligned with SK Capital in our strategic vision to build Ecopol into the leading global provider of biodegradable film solutions.”
“We are incredibly privileged to be partnering with Mauro to support the next phase of Ecopol’s extraordinary growth,” said Stephen D’Incelli, Managing Director at SK Capital. “Mauro has built an exceptional business with a reputation for strong customer service and delivering technology-driven, sustainable solutions, which aligns with our strategy of investing in companies where sustainability is a true competitive differentiator. His vision to invest in solution cast film technology for laundry applications and a new plant in the U.S. provides Ecopol with meaningful runway for growth, and we intend to support Mauro and invest in the Company as it scales as a critical supplier to its global customer base.”
Daniele Ferrari, Senior Director at SK Capital added, “We see tremendous opportunity for Ecopol to expand within its existing end-markets and leverage its core competencies in biodegradable films to enter new applications, which will experience significant tailwinds as brand owners and consumers seek more sustainable solutions.”
“Since meeting Mauro in 2020, he has continued to execute his vision and growth plan for Ecopol beyond our expectations,” added Roberto Quagliuolo and Luca Bucelli, Head of Private Equity Italy and Co-Head of Italy, respectively, at Tikehau Capital. “Mauro has laid the foundation for the next chapter of Ecopol’s journey and with its new partner SK Capital, we expect Ecopol to accelerate its expansion. We look forward to continuing to support the business as an ongoing minority shareholder.”
Latham & Watkins LLP served as legal counsel to SK Capital. Lead arrangers Crédit Agricole Italia S.p.A. and Intesa Sanpaolo S.p.A are providing committed financing in support of the transaction. Legance and Alpeggiani Studio Legale Associato served as legal counsel and STS Deloitte served as tax advisor to Ecopol. UBS served as financial advisor.
Closing of the transaction is subject to the satisfaction of customary regulatory conditions and approvals.
Ecopol is a leading global producer of water-soluble and biodegradable films. The Company’s innovative delivery systems for unit-dose applications allow the world’s leading brands to significantly reduce CO2 emissions and the usage of water and virgin plastic throughout their supply chains. Headquartered in Chiesina Uzzanese, Tuscany, Ecopol operates production campuses in Italy and the United States, providing the highest levels of service, technical support and innovation partnership to its worldwide customer base. For more information, please visit www.ecopol.com.
About SK Capital
SK Capital is a private investment firm with a disciplined focus on the specialty materials, ingredients and life sciences sectors. The firm seeks to build resilient, sustainable and growing businesses that create substantial long-term economic value. SK Capital aims to utilize its industry, operating and investment experience to identify opportunities to transform businesses into higher performing organizations with improved strategic positioning, growth and profitability, as well as lower operating risk. SK Capital’s portfolio of businesses generates revenues of approximately $18 billion annually, employs more than 20,000 people globally, and operates more than 200 plants in over 30 countries. The firm currently has approximately $7.8 billion in assets under management. For more information, please visit www.skcapitalpartners.com.
About Tikehau Capital
Tikehau Capital is a global alternative asset management group with €39.7 billion of assets under management (at 31 March 2023). Tikehau Capital has developed a wide range of expertise across four asset classes (private debt, real assets, private equity and capital markets strategies) as well as multi-asset and special opportunities strategies. Leveraging its strong equity base (€3.1 billion of shareholders’ equity at 31 December 2022), the firm invests its own capital alongside its investor-clients within each of its strategies. Controlled by its managers alongside leading institutional partners, Tikehau Capital is guided by a strong entrepreneurial spirit and DNA, shared by its 742 employees (at 31 December 2022) across its 15 offices in Europe, the Middle East Asia and North America. Tikehau Capital is listed in compartment A of the regulated Euronext Paris market (ISIN code: FR0013230612; Ticker: TKO.FP). For more information, please visit www.tikehaucapital.com.
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