SK Capital Buys Majority Stake in Italy’s Ecopol
Ecopol makes biodegradable and water-soluble packaging films
New York-based private investment firm SK Capital Partners LP continues to build its plastics and packaging portfolio. On July 27, SK said it had acquired a majority stake in Ecopol SpA, an Italy-based developer and producer of water-soluble and biodegradable films.
Mauro Carbone, Ecopol’s CEO and controlling shareholder, will stay on as CEO and retain a significant stake, remaining the firm’s largest individual shareholder. Existing minority investor Tikehau Capital, a global alternative asset manager, will also retain a minority stake.
Carbone said, “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.”
Ecopol is based in Chiesina Uzzanese (in Tuscany, northwest of Florence), with production facilities in Italy and a new U.S. plant in Griffin, Ga. It has invested more than €70 million ($77.3 million) since 2019 to add capacity and capabilities, including the largest solution cast polyvinyl alcohol (PVOH) film line in the world to serve laundry applications, and the new production facility in Griffin, which it announced in April 2022.
Ecopol describes itself as “a leading global provider of water-soluble and biodegradable films and delivery systems, primarily serving the fast-growing unit dose household detergent market for automatic dishwashing and laundry applications, as well as specialty engineered stone and construction markets.” It aims to leverage its films to help consumer goods companies reduce carbon emissions.
SK’s sustainability-focused portfolio
SK Capital, meanwhile, focuses on the specialty materials, ingredients and life sciences sectors.
SK’s current portfolio includes plastics materials firms and packaging makers. That list includes nylon 66 resin producer Ascend Performance Materials of Houston; Geon Performance Solutions, a compounder of PVC and other materials based in Westlake, Ohio; and Techmer PM, a specialty compounder and concentrates maker in Clinton, Tenn. Its packaging interests include thermoformer Lacerta Group of Mansfield, Mass.; Paris-based iPackchem Group, a global firm that makes packaging for crop protection and specialty chemicals, and blow-fill-seal maker Catalent Pharma Solutions of Woodstock, Ill.
Stephen D’Incelli, managing director at SK Capital, said, “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 a runway for growth, and we intend to … invest in the company as it scales as a critical supplier to its global customer base.”