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zouk sells stake in SiC Processing AG

zouk ventures (“zouk”) is pleased to announce the completion of its partial exit from SiC Processing AG (“SiC Processing”), a leading supplier of wire-saw slurry used in silicon wafer production for solar photovoltaic cells. The exit results from the recent acquisition of 70% of SiC Processing by Nordic Capital Fund VII (“Nordic Capital”). The acquisition of SiC Processing by Nordic Capital is one of the largest European cleantech transactions to have been executed over the last two years.

Having led the company’s €53 million growth capital investment round in October 2007, zouk has sold 5.7% of its shareholding at a return multiple which strongly validates its European growth capital investment strategy. As a testament to zouk’s confidence in the company’s potential and the quality of its management team, zouk has retained a stake of 5% in order to benefit from an expected future upside.

SiC Processing is headquartered in Hirschau, Germany and has production facilities in Germany, Norway, Italy, China and the USA. The company generates over 90% of revenues from customers in photovoltaic wafer manufacturing, but also serves major manufacturers in the semiconductor industry.

The initial funding round in October 2007 provided the company with the capital and resources to drive an international expansion programme and triple processing capacity. As a result, the company was able to realize its true potential: revenue increased at 58% CAGR from €24 million in 2006 to €150 million (expected) in 2010. Nordic Capital’s acquisition represents the next stage in the company’s development which will see the company continue its strong growth trajectory and cement its position as the global market leader for slurry recycling.

“The realisation of SiC Processing is a great success story for zouk and the Cleantech Europe I investors, providing a clear demonstration of the returns that can be generated by zouk’s cleantech investment strategy,” said Dr. Alois Flatz, Partner at zouk.  “It is also a great example of how value can be created through an active investment approach coupled with a strong and trusting business partnership.”

Thomas Heckmann, CEO and Founder of SiC Processing stated, “zouk has proved to be an excellent strategic investor and exactly the partner we required to build SiC Processing into the global market leader it is today. From the very beginning our objectives were aligned, and there was always a strong cultural proximity between zouk’s team and ours. zouk’s active investment management approach provided a valuable resource to SiC Processing and positions them as a strong partner and investor for the German Mittelstand.”

Dr. Sönke Bästlein, Partner at Nordic Capital in Frankfurt, added, “We are impressed by what the management team at SiC Processing has achieved over three years in partnership with the zouk-led syndicate of investors. We see great potential in continuing this trajectory and are delighted to be supporting the company on the execution of its expansion pipeline. We will be working closely with the management team to further strengthen SiC Processing’s position as a leading supplier to the solar wafer manufacturing industry.”

For further information, please contact:

Patrick Shuttleworth

Investor Relations, zouk ventures ltd

+44 (0) 20 7947 3400