Equity capital investments in Thuringia worth millions
The demand for equity capital in Thuringia increased in 2008 compared with the previous year. “Just in this year alone we have concluded 21 business investments through the ‘Thuringia private equity fund’ (PET fund)”, said Dr. Guido Bohnenkamp, managing director of beteiligungsmanagement thüringen gmbh (bm|t). bm|t manages the fund. Last year the fund agreed to 11 investments. The newly-agreed investments will almost double to more than 30 million euros this year.
The PET fund finances young, technology-oriented companies and established SMEs. To date, the fund has agreed to 24 share investments with a value of 45 million euros. In the companies receiving financing, 420 jobs have been created and secured. In particular, medical technology, automotive and machine building, IT and biotechnology have benefited from fresh equity and thus been able to implement their investment plans.
“This way, in its 30-month investment phase, the PET fund has provided an important impetus to the economy of Thuringia”, added Dr. Guido Bohnenkamp. Companies financed through the PET fund are innovative: they hold more than 125 patents.
One of the PET fund investments is in Sirs-Lab GmbH in Jena. This company develops, produces and markets new processes for the diagnosis of life-threatening infections such as septicaemia. Sirs-Lab was founded in 2000 by well-known scientists from Jena and now employs more than 50 people.
Alea GmbH, also from Jena, developed new, specialised and logistics software for mail order companies. These products have already been successfully introduced at the first customers. Cordus GmbH from Mühlhausen employs 29 staff in the development and manufacture of highly innovative fibre optic products.
The next, and final meeting during this investment phase, is scheduled for 25 November 2008. It is anticipated that decisions will be made on 6 investments with a total volume of around 10 million euros. For several months already there has been intensive work going on in the preparation of a new fund. It is expected that this fund will have at least the same volume as the existing fund.
The PET fund was established on 30 June 2006 with a investment volume of 70.85 million euros. In addition to 30 million euros from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and funds from the Thüringer Aufbaubank (10 million euros), four institutional investors (Ärzteversorgung Thüringen, HELABA, KfW and Sparkasse Jena) have provided 30.85 million euros.
The PET fund invests in young, technology-oriented companies as well as established SMEs. Generally, the size of the investment is at least 1 million euros up to a maximum of 5 million euros. The PET fund gets involved not only as a minority shareholder but also as a silent partner.
The decision as to which company will receive investment is made by an investment panel based on the recommendation of the bm|t management. In addition to representatives of the investors, this panel also includes four persons prominent in the economy and research sectors in Thuringia:
- Prof. Dr.-Ing. Karlheinz Brandenburg, Director, Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technology
- Dr. Sven G. Breitschwerdt, Managing Director, MDC Power GmbH
- Günther Raithel, Managing Partner, KAHLA/Thüringen Porzellan GmbH
- Dr. Werner Schwarze, Managing Partner, AST Advanced Shockwave Technologies
The fund is managed by bm|t beteiligungsmanagement thüringen gmbh – a subsidiary of the Thüringer Aufbaubank.