Press releases

Ecopol Announces Strategic Investment in JRF Technology

Strategic partnership with JRF announced as part of Ecopol’s broader effort to expand R&D capabilities and accelerate development of next generation sustainable delivery systems

Chiesina Uzzanese, Italy and Tampa, FL – December 7, 2023 – Ecopol S.p.A. (“Ecopol”), a leading developer and producer of innovative biodegradable films and delivery systems, announced today it has completed a strategic investment in JRF Technology LLC (“JRF” or the “Company”), a leading developer of water-soluble polymer and edible film technology.

Founded in 2007 and based in Tampa, Florida, JRF is an innovation and R&D organization focused exclusively on water-soluble polymer and edible film technology. From its state-of-the-art GMP laboratory, JRF provides innovation services to clients ranging from leading multinational consumer goods companies to innovative start-ups. The Company has unique expertise in product development and process technology to convert water-soluble polymers into value-added commercial products. JRF will continue to be led by President James Rossman and Managing Director Richard Fielder and will serve as Ecopol’s U.S. R&D Center of Excellence, complementing its R&D capabilities in Italy.

“Our strategic investment in JRF aligns well with Ecopol’s strategy to accelerate the development of the next generation of sustainable delivery systems,” said Ecopol CEO Mauro Carbone. “We see tremendous opportunity to leverage our complementary R&D capabilities and JRF’s exciting pipeline to commercialize innovative biodegradable and bio-based delivery systems for applications across attractive end-markets, including personal care and healthcare. We believe these solutions will experience significant tailwinds for adoption as brand owners and consumers seek more sustainable and innovative products. We are excited to collaborate with Jim and Richard, who bring decades of experience as inventors and innovators in the field.”

“Since founding JRF more than 15 years ago, our focus on serving as an innovation partner to our clients has driven our expansion. Ecopol’s strategic investment will allow us to invest further in our development and commercial capabilities and accelerate the introduction of our innovative pipeline to the marketplace. Mauro and his team’s expertise in scaling up world-class production of innovative films and delivery systems makes Ecopol the ideal partner for JRF, and together we look forward to realizing the full potential of water-soluble polymer technology,” added Mr. Rossman and Mr. Fielder.

JRF represents the latest in a series of global investments by Ecopol to expand its capacity and capabilities. Ecopol recently invested in a new pouch-filling pilot line at its Italian R&D Center of Excellence to enhance its product development capabilities for unit-dose detergent delivery systems. Since 2019, Ecopol has invested more than €70 million to add the largest solution cast polyvinyl alcohol film line in the world to serve laundry applications and a new production facility in Griffin, GA to serve the North American market. Ecopol will continue to seek strategic opportunities and investments globally to bolster its R&D capabilities and add new technologies.

These steps represent the first in partnership with SK Capital Partners, LP (“SK Capital”), which made a strategic investment to acquire a majority stake in Ecopol in September 2023.

Josh Lieberman, Principal at SK Capital, added, “We are excited to leverage SK Capital’s deep resources and capital to support Ecopol as they invest to expand its R&D capabilities globally and accelerate the introduction of innovative products to new end-markets. We look forward to continuing to back Mauro as he executes on his vision to make Ecopol the global leader in sustainable delivery systems.”

About Ecopol

Ecopol is a leading global producer of water-soluble and biodegradable films and delivery systems. The Company’s innovative solutions for unit-dose applications allow the world’s leading brands to significantly reduce CO2 emissions and the usage of water and virgin plastic throughout their supply chains. Headquartered in Tuscany, Ecopol operates production campuses in Italy and the United States, providing the highest levels of service, technical support and innovation partnership to its worldwide customer base. For more information, please visit www.ecopol.com.

About JRF

JRF is an innovation and R&D organization focused exclusively on water-soluble polymer technology. From its state-of-the-art GMP laboratory in Tampa, Florida, the Company provides innovation services to leading multinational consumer goods companies and innovative start-ups alike, with unique expertise in polymer formulation, product development and technology transfer from the R&D lab to commercial-scale production. JRF is led by Co-Founders James Rossman and Richard Fielder, who combined have over eight decades of experience in water soluble films and polymers as inventors, innovators and business leaders. For more information, please visit: www.jrftechnology.com.

About SK Capital

SK Capital is a private investment firm with a disciplined focus on the specialty materials, ingredients, and life sciences sectors. The Firm seeks to build resilient, sustainable, and growing businesses that create substantial long-term economic value. SK Capital aims to utilize its industry, operating, and investment experience to identify opportunities to transform businesses into higher performing organizations with improved strategic positioning, growth, and profitability, as well as lower operating risk. SK Capital’s portfolio of businesses generates revenues of approximately $15 billion annually, employs more than 25,000 people globally, and operates more than 200 plants in over 30 countries. The Firm currently has approximately $7.9 billion in assets under management. For more information, please visit www.skcapitalpartners.com.