Tuesday, July 28, 2009

FRX Polymers raises $6MM from Israel Cleantech Ventures and Capricorn Venture Partners to develop green plastics

Israel Cleantech Ventures (ICV) and Capricorn Venture Partners (CVP) announced today that they have invested $6MM in FRX Polymers, Inc., (FRX) the manufacturer of a new, environmentally friendly family of inherently flame retardant plastics. FRX’s products are finding markets as polymeric flame retardant additives and as “stand-alone” inherently flame retardant engineering plastics.

FRX Polymers is currently in the commercialization stage for its family of polyphosphonate homopolymers and copolymers. According to the company, these plastics are tough, transparent, possess high melt flow, and are inherently flame retardant. FRX polymers are environmentally friendly since they do not contain halogens, whereas many other flame retardant additives do contain halogen.

FRX was the 2008 recipient of Frost and Sullivan’s “Innovation of the Year” award for flame retardant materials and received the first-place award in the Clean Technology Business Forum, a competition sponsored by Battelle at the recent Global Plastics Environmental Conference in Orlando, FL. FRX has over 20 partnership agreements in place with some of the largest plastics manufacturers in the world.

“FRX represents an extremely compelling investment opportunity for us,” stated Jack Levy, Partner at Israel Cleantech Ventures. “There is a clear global market demand for the company’s green flame retardant plastics and we believe that FRX’s products will play an important role in redefining a significant part of the $15B Flame Retardant Plastics industry.”

Claude Stoufs, Senior Investment Manager for Capricorn Venture Partners said, FRX Polymers has developed a novel and very exciting product line to address the global need for non-halogen containing flame retardant plastics. As a consequence of the many excellent partnerships that FRX has established, we believe that the company is poised for accelerated growth.”

“We are delighted to welcome both ICV and Capricorn to our board and current group of committed shareholders” declared Marc Lebel, President and CEO of FRX Polymers. “Both venture partners bring considerable business experience to our company. In addition, they have considerable access to global markets, which will serve us well as we embark on the next phase of our growth plan.”

FRX Polymers was launched in 2007 as a limited partnership 50% owned by KPP Investments, an investment company with headquarters in Tel Aviv, Israel, and 50% owned by Triton Systems, Inc., technology incubator based in Chelmsford, MA, that specializes in advanced materials.

Amir Ohad of KPP Investments, the former CEO of Kafrit Industries, Ltd., an Israeli plastics company, sits on FRX's Board of Directors. Ross Haghighat, the founder and CEO of Triton Systems, and also a Director of FRX, was profiled in an article on SiliconIran.

Triton Systems has a track record of partnering with Israeli investors: in 2001, it spun-off three portfolio companies with financing from the Millennium Materials Fund, a Tel Aviv-based specialty materials venture fund that invests in materials technology companies worldwide.

FRX is headquartered in Chelmsford, MA, where it operates both polymer and monomer pilot facilities. FRX is also currently building a semi-works plant in Switzerland in partnership with Uhde Inventa-Fischer.

Established in 2006, Israel Cleantech Ventures has $75MM under management and to date has completed eleven investments across diverse cleantech sectors, including water, solar, biogas, energy storage, energy efficiency, transportation and green materials.

Capricorn Venture Partners is a pan-European manager of venture capital funds seeking to invest in technology-based growth companies. The Capricorn Cleantech Fund invests in European growth companies developing innovative breakthrough technologies in the fields of renewable energy and energy efficiency, water purification and re-use, bio-based material conversion and bio-refinery platforms, clean air, climate change, green chemistry and advanced materials, materials recovery and recycling.