3i helps Nanogate AG to profitability and successful IPO

19 Oct 2006

3i, Europe's leading venture capital and private equity firm, today announces the successful Initial Public Offering (IPO) on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange of 3i backed Nanogate AG, offering a total of 603,000 shares in the company.

3i identified Nanogate potential early on, backing its 1998 spinout from Saarbrücken University, for a substantial minority stake in the company alongside Sal Oppenheim, Equinet SET and management. Nanogate AG has grown its business from start-up to €3.7m in group sales and a 19% EBIT margin (61% growth over 2005) for the first half of 2006 with multinational customers including ABB, Giesecke & Devrient BSH, Kärcher and Koenig & Bauer.

Today, Nanogate AG is one of the only nanotechnology companies on the global market to achieve a strong profit and has a clear lead in chemical nanotechnology. The company creates nanotechnology composites, formulations and process integration for a variety of industries based on a unique development platform. Based on this it bridges the gap between manufactured raw materials and industrial conversion of them into finished products and consequently positions itself as the crucial interface in commercialising chemical nanotechnology.

Hansjoerg Ruof, director in 3i's German team said: "We are delighted that after years of hard work by the company and its investors, Nanogate has been recognised by the market as one of the few truly profitable nanotechnology success stories today"

He continued: "3i has remained committed to the company during some difficult times helping to adapt the business model to achieve a winning formula which enabled capture of full value from its core technology. It has been an honour to work with Mr Ralf Zastrau and his team to assist its growth, and we are thrilled at this positive step towards allowing them to build from this strong base in the next phase of their development."

Shortly afterwards, Nanogate and its management team also received the honour of being rated number two overall in Deloitte's Fast 50 Technology Award under the "Rising Stars" category. This award recognises Nanogate's entrepreneurial success, its powerful innovation and impressive revenue and company growth.

Notes to editors

About 3i
3i is a world leader in private equity and venture capital.  We focus on Buyouts, Growth Capital and Venture Capital and invest across Europe, in the United States and in Asia.  Our competitive advantage comes from our international network and the strength and breadth of our relationships in business.  These underpin the value that we deliver to our portfolio and to our shareholders.
3i's Venture Capital business focuses on investing in scaleable start-up and early-stage businesses. The business currently manages over 200 investments across Europe, US, Asia and Israel, valued in excess of €1bn. 3i's VC investments fall into four main industry sectors, including healthcare, telecommunications, software and electronics/semiconductors.  
Some of 3i's recent investments include TransMedics (organ transplant system), Sulake (gaming community), The Cloud (wifi), TransTech (airfield monitoring), DiBcom (mobile TV) with successful realisations for Interhyp, KuDOS Pharmaceuticals, Arakis, UbiNetics, dtms, RedDot, CSR, Element5, Bookham and many others.   For more information, go to http://www.3i.com

About Nanogate AG
Nanogate is a leading international enabler in the nanotechnology growth market and so opens the gate to nanotechnology for its customers. The Saarbrücken-based firm enables the programming and integration of additional properties such as non-stick, anti-bacterial, anti-corrosive, ultra-low friction. Nanogate thereby gains a competitive edge for its customers by product refinement using chemical nanotechnology. Nanogate covers a wide range of industries, functions and substrates already on the basis of technology platforms. The company thus provides a decisive interface for the commercialisation of chemical nanotechnology, bridges the gap between raw materials and their industrial conversion into products and concentrates as an enabler on one of the most attractive segments in the industry.

As a partner in innovation, Nanogate provides many services along the value chain - from development and production of innovative nanocomposites and nanostructured materials to powerful support for innovation and product integration. The Nanogate Group currently has 45 employees in all and since commencing operations in 1999 has been a pioneer in nanotechnology. The company has first-class customer references, such as ABB, BSH, Giesecke & Devrient, Kärcher and Koenig & Bauer, and many years' experience of different industries and applications. It has also entered into strategic cooperation with US companies Dow Corning and ESK Ceramics. Nanogate is a high-growth company and has been profitable since financial year 2004. For the first half of 2006, the Nanogate Group reported about €3.7 million in sales and about €0.7 million in earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT margin: 19.1%). The Group's consolidation entity includes Nanogate Advanced Materials GmbH, which specialises in safety engineering and optics and is a joint venture with Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. Nanogate also holds a stake in HOLMENKOL Sport-Technologies GmbH & Co. KG