SFC announces new anchor shareholder, and changes in Executive Board, Supervisory Board, and organisation
- Holland Private Equity acquires 25.01% equity stake from Pricap Venture Partners AG as well as from Dr Manfred Stefener
- CEO Dr Peter Podesser - with HPE's support - will further drive industrialization of the business model and implementation of a growth strategy
- Dr Jens Müller is to join SFC's Supervisory Board - Verena Graf to assume new role as Vice President & CTO
Brunnthal/Munich and Amsterdam, November 16, 2010
Holland Private Equity (HPE) will become the largest shareholder and anchor investor in SFC by acquiring a significant equity stake from Pricap Venture Partners AG and SFC's founder, Dr Manfred Stefener. Both transactions were signed yesterday and are to be closed in January, 2011. Concurrently, changes will occur in both Executive and Supervisory Boards of SFC, as well as within the organisation.
After closing of the transactions, HPE will hold approx. 25.01% of the SFC shares outstanding. HPE has agreed to a lock-up period of 12 months during which HPE will not sell any of those shares, underlining HPE's long-term growth strategy and commitment to this investment. SFC expects that this transaction will help to remove the market overhang in SFC's stock which the company has been experiencing for a long time. The transaction price of EUR 5.70 per share is substantially above the recent trading levels and represents a premium of approx. 17% to the recent 30-day trading average.
Dr Peter Podesser welcomes HPE as the new anchor shareholder and continues to serve as CEO. The early renewal of his contract is aimed for beginning of next year. Supported by HPE's sales and distribution expertise, he will drive further industrialization of the business model and implementation of a growth strategy.
Dr Jens Müller, presently COO, has decided – after almost 10 years of building up SFC, and after a total of 15 years pioneering the fuel cell business – not to prolong his management contract beyond the end of 2010. He will remain associated with SFC on a consultant basis and also join HPE as Special Advisor. Furthermore, both HPE and the Company intend to nominate Dr Müller as Supervisory Board member for SFC beginning in 2011.
As successor for Dr Müller, SFC has promoted Verena Graf – who has been Director R&D since 2004 – to the newly defined role of Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, effective January 1st, 2011. Mrs Graf brings with her tremendous experience and leadership skills, having spent over 10 years in fuel cell technology, productization, and operations.
Tim van Delden and Harry Dolman, Partners of HPE, commented: “We see an increasing need for off-grid applications in the markets. After screening the European landscape we arrived at SFC as the best positioned company to overproportionally benefit from this trend. Their unique technology and the recent strategic move to broaden the business model provide an excellent basis to accelerate the future growth and thereby generating attractive financial returns for all shareholders. We are particularly excited about recent developments in the industrial off-grid power, mobility, and defence segments. We are looking forward to becoming an active part of the SFC story.”
Dr Peter Podesser added: “HPE shows a quality level of long-term commitment, underlined by a lock-up agreement with regards to their shareholding. HPE who is specialised in supporting their portfolio companies in the increase of international sales and distribution will make valuable contributions with their experienced team and wide industry network. After the changes we have managed now - in Shareholder structure, both Boards, and organisation – this is a natural inflexion point for SFC and positioning SFC very well to achieve our business objectives, and to make significant progress towards financial break-even.”
About SFC Energy AG
SFC Energy AG (www.sfc.com) is a market leader for mobile and off-grid power supply solutions based on fuel cell technology, for applications in the leisure, industry, mobility, and defense markets. As one of Germany's clean-tech pioneers, SFC has received numerous awards. SFC cooperates with leading companies in various industries. Unlike most other fuel cells firms, which are still in the development phase or operate subsidized demonstration projects, SFC has successfully sold over 19,000 fully commercialized fuel cell generators, which have logged more than 8 million accumulated hours of operation in end-user environments. The Company also has an established, operating fuel cartridge structure. SFC is DIN ISO 9001:2008 certified. The Company has its headquarters in Brunnthal / Munich, Germany, and has a sales and service office in the United States. SFC Energy AG is listed in the Prime Standard of Deutsche Börse (WKN 756857).
Barbara v. Frankenberg
Head of IR and PR
SFC Energy AG
D-85649 Brunnthal / Munich
ph.+49 89 673 592-378
fax +49 89 673 592-169
e-mail: [email protected]
About Holland Private Equity
Holland Private Equity (“HPE”) is a leading European private equity firm, focusing on late-stage growth investments in small and mid-cap technology companies within the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium. Its main focus is on stand-alone investment opportunities in which it typically invests EUR 10 - 15m for a significant minority position. Having built a team of investment professionals and an advisory network of operational and technology veterans, HPE brings more than growth capital alone by closely working with management teams to accelerate growth in the portfolio companies. HPE has offices in Amsterdam and Düsseldorf.
Tim van Delden
Chief Investment Officer
Holland Private Equity B.V.
Gustav Mahlerplein 3
NL – 1082 MS Amsterdam
ph.+31 20 7143400
fax +31 20 7143419