Nordic Capital seals debut cleantech deal

The Scandinavian growth investor has made its first acquisition in the cleantech sector: German industrial group SiC Processing.

Growth capital investor Nordic Capital has acquired Germany-based cleantech firm SiC Processing. The value of the sale was not disclosed.

The deal is Nordic’s debut in the cleantech space, having looked intensively at a number of prospects last year. Nordic primarily invests in mid-market Scandinavian and Northern European firms. It has a strong emphasis on healthcare, but invests across all industries and sectors.

SiC was acquired on behalf of Nordic’s seventh fund, which closed in 2008 with commitments of €4.3 billion. In addition to SiC, Fund VII has invested in offshore energy company Master Marine, traffic safety solutions provider SafeRoad, IT firm EDP Gruppen and medical technology developer ConvaTec.

Nordic partner Sönke Bästlein said in an interview that the firm has not recruited a cleantech investment specialist to drive the firm’s efforts in the sector, but has “built quite some expertise” within its team and is working with selected industry specialists in the field.

There is no specified allocation within Fund VII to cleantech investments, said Bästlein.

Based in Hirschau, Germany and founded in 2000, SiC processing produces materials for the photovoltaic and semiconductor industries. Nordic has purchased it from a group of investors including Meryll Lynch CPI, Zouk Ventures, CC Private Equity Partners, Masdar Clean Tech Fund and Foursome Investments (now Frog Capital). In a separate statement, Frog Capital said it has achieved a 3x multiple on its original investment in SiC.

Currently, SiC’s founders the Heckmann family remain co-owners with a 25 percent holding, with Zouk Ventures retaining a 5 percent stake and Nordic Capital now controlling a 70 percent majority stake.