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Highlander Partners to Acquire Druk-Pak and Merge with Akomex

Warsaw, Poland – February 14, 2014 – Highlander Partners (“Highlander”), through its portfolio company Akomex, has signed a conditional agreement under which it intends to acquire the shares of the Warsaw, Poland listed Druk-Pak from Penton Partners. The acquisition of Druk-Pak shares by Highlander Partners depends on the approval of the Polish Antimonopoly Office (UOKiK) and the fulfillment of conditions in the agreement.

The potential acquisition will result in creating one of the largest consumer packaging companies in Poland with substantial growth opportunities throughout the EU market. In addition to this add-on investment, Highlander will also finance the construction of a new manufacturing facility at Akomex, which will commence immediately after the closing of the transaction, as well as adding significant equipment for the two existing plants of Druk-Pak and Akomex.

“Our intention is to strengthen the capital base and utilize the potential of our combined businesses to grow in Europe, while maintaining our customized service philosophy,” said Artur Łakomiec, an operating partner at Highlander Partners. “We are pleased with the development of Akomex, the value of which we and the minority shareholder have been successfully building for more than three years. But new market challenges lie ahead requiring new investment and a strong industry partner. Highlander Partners will continue to look for additional strategic acquisitions,” Artur Łakomiec added.

Druk-Pak is one of the largest manufacturers of cardboard packaging in Poland. The company has been operating for 40 years and is based in Aleksandrów Kujawski in Northern Poland. The firm focuses on packaging production for Polish and other international pharmaceutical companies. The company was the first enterprise in the Polish printing industry certified for ISO 15378. Druk-Pak maintains the latest and most state-of-the-art equipment and technology, with the highest quality and environmental protection. The firm has been listed on NewConnect, the alternative market of the Warsaw Stock Exchange, since 2010. Read more: www.drukpak.pl

“In recent years Druk-Pak has achieved considerable success in the Polish and European markets for pharmaceutical packaging. Acting in a group with Akomex perfectly complements our competences and enriches our offering. Our existing customers, including large pharmaceutical corporations, will benefit from a modern production facility in the new plant, and greater security of supply from two locations, as well as enhanced flexibility,” said Paweł Kalbarczyk, CEO of Druk-Pak.

Founded in 1993, Akomex supplies high-quality packaging products made of corrugated and solid fiberboard to the food industry. The company is located in Starogard Gdański on the northern Polish coast. Akomex focuses primarily on food products and has successfully entered the German, French and Scandinavian markets. Three and a half years ago, Highlander acquired Akomex to capitalize on the dynamic growth of the firm and the potential of the markets in which it operates. Read more: www.akomex.pl

“Thanks to the initial investment by Highlander Partners in our company, we have been able to significantly expand our capacity. Today we not only have loyal clients, many of whom are international, but also state-of-the-art machinery at our disposal. We are proud to say our packaged products can be found in supermarkets throughout Europe. The merger with Druk-Pak will afford our company to make a transformational change in the organizational structure, broaden our offering and become even more competitive throughout Europe,” said Sebastian Śliwa, Akomex CEO and shareholder.

The majority owner of Druk-Pak, an investment fund managed by Penton Partners, since 2006, will sell its shares if Akomex solicits all other Druk-Pak shareholders to sell on the same basis.

“I am pleased to be part of the achievements of Druk-Pak. It has been a company that its management, employees and us worked hard together to develop and gain recognition as a reliable partner. As a growth-oriented investor, we believe Druk-Pak is uniquely positioned to succeed into the future. We confidently pass the company to the new shareholders and wish them the best of luck for the future,” said Marek Chłopek, partner of Penton Partners and CEO of Penton TFI.

About Highlander Partners

Highlander Partners is a Dallas, Texas USA based private equity firm specializing in long-term investments in middle-market businesses. It was founded 10 years ago by its American principals and has more than $500 million available for direct investments in companies operating in North America and Central Europe. Highlander Partners has a flexible and non-bureaucratic decision making process free from many restrictions of typical institutional investors. The firm consistently invests in companies operating in targeted industries (manufacturing, services, and others) that allow the partners of the firm to leverage their significant operating and investing experience. Highlander Partners opened its Central European office in September 2008 to capitalize on the vibrant growth of entrepreneurship in the region by bringing its investment philosophy and experience to private equity projects in Poland and other new member states of the European Union. The local team of Highlander Partners has many years of experience in value creation in the region. Currently, Highlander Partners’ equity investments in Poland are: Akomex (packaging products manufacturing), MEDI-System (healthcare services), ProService (services for the financial sector) and ZREW Transformatory (energy sector). Read more: www.highlander-partners.com

About Penton Partners
Penton Partners is an independent private equity management group focusing on investments in small or medium-sized private enterprises in Poland. Penton’s investments include private companies, those privatized by the Polish State Treasury as well as employee stock ownership corporations. Since 2009 Penton Partners, through Penton TFI (Penton Investment Fund Company), has been offering the management of regulated closed-end funds under the approval of the Polish Securities Commission. Read more: www.pentonpartners.com

Gessel was acting as a legal advisor to Highlander Partners in this transaction. DMS was acting as a legal advisor to Penton Partners. Holon Consultants was Druk-Pak’s financial advisor.

For further information please contact:

Artur Łakomiec, Operating Partner, Highlander Partners, tel. +48 22 445 03 40
Marek Chłopek, Partner, Penton Partners, tel. +48 22 412 41 41
Paweł Kalbarczyk, CEO, Druk-Pak, tel. +48 54 282 82 50
Sebastian Śliwa, CEO, Akomex, tel. +48 58 560 11 83
PR support: Iwona Drabot, mob. +48 605 621 264