16 Apr 2007   |   News

Siemens sells venture capital investments in communications


Disinvestment

Following its decision to distance itself from the mobile phone market by merging its network with Nokia, Siemens has now divested its venture capital interests in communications and networks too. Investment management firm Cipio Partners has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the portfolio, which includes virtually all assets of the Siemens Venture Capital Communications Fund.

Since 1999 the fund has made a number of investments in late-stage technology companies in the areas of semiconductors, optical components and communications equipment in North America and Israel.

While the acquisition qualifies as one of the largest secondary direct portfolio transactions completed in the last few years, terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“We are delighted to add yet another pool of top venture assets to our global portfolio. Siemens‚ selection of Cipio as partner in this very complex transaction clearly confirms our position as the pre-eminent buyer of larger portfolios,” commented Roland Dennert, a Partner at Cipio.

Other venturing units of SVC are unaffected by the sale and will expand their activities, in particular in energy and environmental care, automation and control, industrial and public infrastructure, and health care.

“The decision to divest portfolio companies of SVC’s Communications Fund follows the restructuring in the communications sector, including the merger of Siemens’ networks business with Nokia to form Nokia Siemens Networks, and is a pro-active approach to managing our assets,” said Dominik Asam, Corporate Vice President and  Treasurer, Siemens AG.

Companies in the SVC portfolio include: AirTight Networks, Inc. (Mountain View, CA), which specialises in wireless intrusion prevention and performance management solutions; BroadLight, Inc. (Ramat Gan, Israel), a  developer of PON chips for broadband network infrastructure; IP Unity Glenayre, Inc. (Duluth, GA), which supplies carrier-grade messaging and multimedia solutions over IP networks; Verimatrix, Inc. (San Diego, CA), a  provider of video and IP-TV content protection; and Tropos Networks, Inc. (Sunnyvale, CA), which specialises in metro-scale WiFi networks.

Siemens Venture Capital, the corporate venture arm of Siemens, funds investments in emerging and innovative technologies that will enhance the core business scope of the company. To date, it has invested over €700 million in more than 100 start-up companies and 35 venture capital funds.

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