Cell Phone Radiation Exposure Protection Firm Nets PE Bucks

Pong, the California-based company that develops protection for cell phone users concerned about potentially harmful rays of device exposure, has bagged an unspecified amount of capital from Catterton Partners. Funding will be used to accelerate the company’s marketing and distribution growth domestically and overseas.


LOS ANGELES, Aug. 16, 2011 –Pong(TM) Research Corporation (“Pong”), the global leader in science-based solutions that protect cell phone users from the potentially harmful effects of radiation exposure, today announced a capital investment by Catterton Partners, the leading consumer-focused private equity firm in North America. The investment will be used to accelerate Pong’s global marketing and distribution growth, particularly in North America, Europe and China. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Pong’s unique, patented cell phone cases are the only solution that has been proven in laboratories certified by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to redirect cell phone radiation away from the user while also protecting the cell phone’s signal strength. The user’s exposure to radiation is reduced by up to 95% below the FCC limit, as measured on the SAR (Specific Absorption Rate) scale. Pong’s proprietary technologies are backed by more than 15 years of research and development, resulting in breakthrough discoveries in how to “direct” radiation through electromagnetic interactions. Pong’s target market is large and growing – the number of Smartphone users worldwide could top the 1 billion mark by 2014(1). Furthermore, following the World Health Organization’s (WHO) recent classification of cell phone radiation as a possible carcinogen, Pong expects to benefit from a continued rapid increase in consumer demand.
“Pong’s laboratory-proven devices allow consumers to substantially reduce their exposure to cell phone radiation without compromising cell phone performance,” said Dr. Shannon Kennedy, Pong Research Corporation President and CEO. “Our unique, patented offering, which is the result of years of scientific research and product development, has made Pong the global leader in products that protect consumers from the potentially harmful effects of cell phone radiation. We are very proud of the global appeal for Pong’s products, having now gained loyal customers in over 25 countries worldwide.”
The Pong team, led by Dr. Kennedy, will continue to manage the Company, taking advantage of the significant financial and strategic resources created by the partnership with Catterton.
“Now that the International Agency for Research on Cancer, as part of the World Health Organization, has classified cell phone radiation as possibly carcinogenic to humans, we expect much greater consumer awareness and adoption, particularly in the U.S.,” Dr. Kennedy continued. “Our new partnership with Catterton will help us capitalize on that significant opportunity. We look forward to benefiting from Catterton’s financial and operational expertise, which we believe will allow Pong to reach the millions of consumers around the world who are looking for a proven solution to prevent unnecessary exposure to cell phone radiation.”
“Pong is on a trajectory of explosive growth, and we are delighted to partner with them to help bring Pong’s breakthrough products to more mobile users worldwide,” said Michael Farello, a Partner at Catterton Partners. “As the only manufacturer of protective cases that offer a simple, proven and cost-effective solution to reduce exposure to the potentially harmful effects of radiation transmitted by mobile devices, Pong is truly a game-changer in the industry. We look forward to working with the talented team at Pong and leveraging our financial and operational expertise to help Pong realize its significant growth potential.”
Catterton’s other health and well being investments include Healthy Advice Networks, the leading out-of-home media company providing consumer health education and information in physician offices; Aquasana Home water filtration systems, which are sold direct to consumers and through select dealers; and Insight Pharmaceuticals Holdings, Inc., an investment platform established to acquire and grow selective, well-known over-the-counter pharmaceutical brands.
About Pong Research Corporation
Pong(TM) Research Corporation is the global leader in technologies that protect users of cellular telephones and other wireless devices from the potentially harmful effects of exposure to electromagnetic radiation (“EMR”). Cell phone antennae transmit and receive microwave energy, a powerful form of EMR, when communicating with a cell tower. Pong has created the world’s only device proven to dramatically reduce EMR exposure while also protecting phone performance. Pong’s technology, which is tested in laboratories certified by the FCC as well as other international standards agencies, has been proven to reduce exposure to cell phone radiation by up to 95% below the FCC limit – as measured on the SAR Scale.
Pong employs an international team of scientists with unique expertise in the fields of plasma physics, environmental science, electrical engineering, antenna design, and health sciences. Using principles gained in breakthrough discoveries, Pong’s scientists possess a unique understanding of how to “direct” radiation through electromagnetic interactions – the very science now embedded into every Pong case.
For more information on Pong and its products, visitwww.pongresearch.com.
About Catterton Partners
With more than $2.5 billion currently under management and a twenty-plus year track record of success in building high growth companies, Catterton Partners is the leading consumer-focused private equity firm in North America. Since its founding in 1989, Catterton has leveraged its category insight, strategic and operating skills, and network of industry contacts to establish one of the strongest private equity investment track records in the middle market consumer industry. Catterton Partners invests in all major consumer segments, including Food and Beverage, Retail and Restaurants, Consumer Products and Services, and Media and Marketing Services.
A number of Catterton’s current investments include: Restoration Hardware, Cheddar’s and Noodles restaurants, StriVectin, O.N.E. (One Natural Experience) beverages and Nature’s Variety Pet Food. Selected realized investments include Frederic Fekkai, Sweet Leaf Tea, Heartland RV, Build-A-Bear Workshop, Kettle Foods, Odwalla, P.F. Chang’s China Bistro and Wellness Pet Food.
More information about the consumer-focused private equity firm can be found at http://www.cpequity.com.