Microporous, a US manufacturer of separators for lead-acid batteries, has been fully acquired by New York-based private equity firm Seven Mile Capital Partners for US$120m.
Microporous is now a fully independent company and will compete directly with the Daramic division of its prior parent company, Polypore International, Inc. Polypore sold the business pursuant to a divestiture order from the Federal Trade Commission.
Microporous’ product line includes the Flex-Sil, Ace-Sil, and CellForce brands in addition to PE separators for industrial and PE automotive applications. In particular, the company will be the largest producer of separators for deep-cycle flooded lead-acid batteries.
The company supplies North American and European lead acid battery manufacturers, and maintains an extensive customer base located across 23 countries and five continents.
It currently has 153 employees and operates two plants. Its plant in Piney Flats, TN manufactures rubber, PE and hybrid separators for deep-cycle, stationary and motive batteries. Its plant in Feistritz, Austria manufactures PE and hybrid separators for SLI, motive and stationary batteries.
The new CEO and President of Microporous is Jean-Luc Koch, who has 16 years of worldwide experience in the lead-acid battery industry. Koch said: “A primary goal within this first year is to reinforce our customer relationships to be able to respond to their needs. We will also aggressively compete in the marketplace to add new customers.”
Steve McDonald, vice president of sales, said: “A clear message we’ve heard from customers is that they want Microporous to return with a focus on improving technology through R&D and be more customer-centric.
“For the past six years as part of Daramic, we weren’t given the opportunity to work on R&D projects with our customers. That will change moving forward.”