Punch Powertrain secures 24 million euro capital

Leuven, Belgium: 31 March 2010 - Gimv and Capricorn supply additional funding for the further development and commercialisation of Punch Powertrain's CVT drivetrains

Punch Powertrain www.punchpowertrain.com is an independent manufacturer of Continuously Variable Transmission systems (CVTs) for cars. The company was acquired by Punch International in 2006. In May 2009, LRM carried out a capital increase of 7 million euro and obtained 30% of the shares in return. Recently, LRM exercised its option on the remaining 70% of the shares, causing Punch International to disappear from the Punch Powertrain shareholding. In order to support its further growth, Gimv and Capricorn jointly invest 24 million euro in the company today. LRM remains a reference shareholder.

To this investment totalling 24 million euro Gimv contributes 18 million euro and Capricorn Venture Partners adds another 6 million euro. Furthermore, Punch Powertrain received another series of bank credits, totalling more than 30 million euro, to sustain its growth. The Gimv investment is carried out for the account of the Gimv-XL Fund, whereas Capricorn Venture Partners invests through its Capricorn Cleantech Fund. LRM remains an important investor with a 38% shareholding, while Gimv and Capricorn obtain a share of respectively 46% and 15%.

Cor van Otterloo, CEO at Punch Powertrain, explains: 'We are very proud that new investors like Gimv and Capricorn join the shareholding beside LRM. This additional capital round allows Punch Powertrain to realise its ambitious growth plan in the years to come, implying a solid expansion of their production capacity as well as the launch of innovative drivetrains for vehicles.'

Alain Keppens, Head of Gimv Buyouts & Growth Belgium, adds: 'After VCST this is Gimv's second investment in a supplier to the automotive industry, yet again in excellent collaboration with LRM. We are very impressed by Punch Powertrain's current and future expansion on the Chinese market, which has meanwhile grown into the most important worldwide. Moreover, the market share of Punch Powertrain's customers in China increases significantly. Companies with a growth potential like Punch Powertrain's are very rare. For this reason, Gimv is pleased to put its shoulders to the wheel.'

'Having lived through a rough patch, Punch Powertrain now finds itself in a transition phase while switching to new customers. During this difficult time, LRM decided to invest in Punch Powertrain because of its existing innovation and growth potential. Our good judgement has now been confirmed by the entry of two new and complementary partners, Gimv and Capricorn. The extra capital of over ? 54 million gives Punch Powertrain the opportunity to realise an international breakthrough as an innovative Limburg supplier to the automotive industry', states Stijn Bijnens, CEO at LRM.

'Over the last years, besides modernising its product range, Punch Powertrain has laid the foundation for innovative solutions in the field of hybrid and electric vehicles; which are essential technologies contributing to the reduction of CO2 emission of vehicles. Punch Powertrain not only has a strong development department, it also disposes of the network and the manufacturing experience to market these solutions', continues Jos Peeters, Managing Partner at Capricorn Venture Partners.

Dr Jos B. Peeters, Managing Director
Capricorn Venture Partners NV
Lei 19/1
B-3000 Leuven (Belgium)
Tel: +32(0)16 28 41 00
Fax: +32(0)16 28 41 08

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