ECORE International Attracts $29 Million Equity Investment
ECORE International, a leader in manufacturing and marketing innovative, environmentally sustainable products and solutions for the global marketplace, has received $29 million in equity financing from Element Partners, a Philadelphia, Pa., based venture capital fund. Element Partners invests in high-growth companies with clean technology solutions to global resource and environmental constraints.
The investment will accelerate ECORE's domestic and global expansion as well as support continued development of new products and partnerships on the cutting-edge of sustainability. As North America's largest user of scrap tire rubber, ECORE recycles 80 million pounds of tire rubber each year, helping conserve more than 1 million barrels of oil in the process to convert pliable treads into durable products for the construction, consumer, commercial, industrial, sports, fitness and recreation markets.
With a range of products made from cork, cork/rubber and recycled rubber, ECORE's portfolio of brands includes national market leaders such as ECOsurfaces commercial flooring, Everlast fitness flooring, QT sound insulation, and PlayGuard playground safety surfacing. Its subsidiary units, A-Turf, SurfaceAmerica and SpectraTurf are leaders in the playground surfacing, gymnasium and fitness flooring, specialty surfacing and artificial turf industries.
"We are entering an extraordinarily exciting period in the life of our company," said ECORE President and CEO, Arthur Dodge. "Long before green products were fashionable, we were developing energy-efficient, lower-cost manufacturing systems to produce environmentally sustainable products for a number of markets. Our corporate tradition is rooted in doing what's right long-term for the environment. That's not only the right thing to do to conserve global resources, it is smart business."
The company has maintained a relationship with Nike Corporation since 1993 through its Nike Grind program. As part of this effort, Nike collects manufacturing scrap, and worn athletic shoes from consumers via a global recycling effort, and processes them into raw materials used in sports surface manufacturing. ECORE blends this raw material with premium recycled tire rubber to create matting and a unique underlayment for poured urethane floors.
"ECORE is a leading company and experienced innovator in identifying and exploiting low cost waste feedstocks that can be converted to high value products which compete against traditional petrochemically derived materials," said Michael DeRosa, Managing Director at Element Partners. "They have a profitable and growing business with diverse end market applications and attractive potential growth opportunities through new products. We see great potential in companies that have demonstrated these capabilities." "Today's announcement proves what Governor Rendell always knew -- there are great companies worthy of investment in all corners of Pennsylvania," said DCED Secretary Dennis Yablonsky.
ECORE also recently announced an agreement with Laticrete International, a global leader in manufacturing systems for the installation of ceramic tile and stone, to distribute its QT sound control products in markets outside of North America. The partnership will dramatically increase distribution for the product line which is made with recycled rubber.
"With a growing number of people around the world having greater buying power, increasing demand for new products, and rising energy prices, it's more important than ever that we take advantage of sustainable practices," said Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Kathleen McGinty. "Pennsylvania is national leader in making recycled and remanufactured products. Businesses that put used materials back to work in new products gross more than $18 billion in annual sales and employ 81,000 people. This exciting partnership between ECORE and Element Partners will help grow this industry, as ECORE can leverage these new resources to expand their environmentally sound product lines, reach new markets, and help us protect our natural resources."
About Element Partners Element Partners is a leading investor in the clean technology sector. Their strategy is to identify and support companies developing promising solutions to economically important resource constraint problems. Their specific focus is on products, services and technologies in the energy and power, water, environmental, materials and chemicals, and manufacturing and industrial sectors. Element's team has managed over $600 million in five clean technology funds and has completed over 45 investments in the sector. These investments range from early stage investments in developing companies to buyouts of established companies.