Friedola Tech, based in Geismar, Germany and a manufacturer and marketer of products for the automotive and reusable packaging industry made with recycled plastic, opened a new manufacturing facility in Greenville, South Carolina in 2013.
Using mostly post-industrial polypropylene plastic scrap material, friedola®Tech makes lightweight, recyclable plastic products. Its new U.S. subsidiary, CON-Pearl® North America (CPNA) in Greenville manufactures the CON-Pearl® lightweight plastic boards made from polypropylene and the Octa Flow Box packaging for bulk cargo use.
CPNA first moved in during October 2012 but needed to renovate and expand the site for future production. The company started the first production run in June 2013 and begin producing recyclable plastic packaging and customized solutions. They are committed to their buy-back program on CON-Pearl products at the end of their life cycle so customers do not have to find their own recycling program.
The plant was facilitated by the $40.1 million investment made by Silver Lake Kraftwerk (SLK), a private equity firm headquartered in Menlo Park, California. The money will aid friedola®Tech in the expansion of its operations and business in key market segments in new geographic locations like Greenville and develop its product line.
Silver Lake Kraftwerk is "the energy investment strategy" of Silver Lake which invests in global technology companies which improve energy efficiency, reduce waste and emissions, harness renewable energy, and more efficiently use natural resources through business model innovation and leveraged technology. It bought part of WHEB Partners's stake, a European-based resource efficiency private equity firm, while WHEB retains minority investment status. The remainer of the friedola®Tech majority is co-owned with Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB).
Jorg Sperling, Partner at WHEB Partners, said, "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."
Friedola Tech planned the opening of the facility in stages. It is an addition to the three plants already existing in Geismar, Germany. Christoph Holzapfel, company CEO and president, said an additional 40 employees would be at the new plant.
For local information, see CON-Pearl North America Inc., 6400 Augusta Road, Suite 101, Greenville, SC 29605-3752, 864.365.0674, info@Conpearl.com.