Private Equity at Work: Investing in Hybrid Electric Vehicle Technology


Because of a decade long partnership with the private equity firm KKR, Rockwood Holdings, Inc. has expanded to become the largest global producer of lithium and lithium compounds used in lithium-ion batteries for smartphones, tablets, laptops and alternative transportation, such as hybrid electric vehicles. Since the initial investment, the company continues to expand, building new facilities and hiring more employees.

  • Under private equity ownership, Rockwood has grown fivefold, making over 20 acquisitions.
  • The company is currently building a new lithium hydroxide plant in Kings Mountain, North Carolina; the world’s largest surface treatment chemical plant in Michigan; and the first new iron oxide pigment plant in the U.S. in 35 years in Augusta, GA.
  • In addition, the new Global Technical Center for Lithium at Kings Mountain, NC will fuel innovation by bringing together engineers and scientists to perfect and commercialize compounds to be used in advanced transportation batteries.
  • These expansions will create hundreds of new manufacturing jobs.  Rockwood currently employs more than 9,500 people worldwide.

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