Ventizz Capital Funds sell innovatis AG to Roche Diagnostics

March 16, 2009

Roche Diagnostics and Ventizz Capital Partners Advisory AG (“Ventizz”) today announced that they have signed a definite agreement under which Roche will acquire 100% of innovatis AG, a privately held company based in Bielefeld, Germany. innovatis is a leading provider of automated cell analysis solutions, especially focussing on cell counting, viability testing, and cell function analysis in research, as well as bioproduction. The purchase price for this transaction is EUR 15 million.

innovatis AG is fully-owned by two private equity funds that are exclusively advised by Ventizz. Reinhard Löchner, Managing Partner of Ventizz, explains: “Starting as a spin-off from the University of Bielefeld, we have made a strong contribution to develop innovatis to a market-leading company for cell analysis. Today, seven years after the fund’s initial investment, most big pharma and biotech companies are listed among their customers. We are proud to having identified Roche as a perfect strategic partner to further accelerate innovatis’ operative development.”

"This acquisition is a further step in our strategy to strengthen our position as a complete solution provider in the cell analysis research market,” said Dr. Jürgen Schwiezer, CEO Division Roche Diagnostics. “Innovatis’ technology will complement the existing Roche cell analysis portfolio and is synergistic to the xCELLigence technology launched in 2008.”

Michael Grohmann, Managing Director of the innovatis AG stated “Roche has been one of our key customers for many years, in particular since the successful development of our cell analysis technology over 10 years ago. The innovatis technology is very well placed for future growth as part of Roche Applied Science.”

Innovatis will become a fully-integrated part of Roche Applied Science, a global business area of the Diagnostic Division of Roche. The company will continue to develop and market products for cell analysis through Roche Applied Sciences extensive worldwide network.

The transaction is expected to be completed within the next few weeks, subject to shareholder approval and regulatory clearance. Close Brothers acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Ventizz Capital Partners on this transaction.

About Roche
Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Roche is one of the world’s leading research-focused healthcare groups in the fields of pharmaceuticals and diagnostics. As the world’s biggest biotech company and an innovator of products and services for the early detection, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases, the Group contributes on a broad range of fronts to improving people’s health and quality of life. Roche is the world leader in in-vitro diagnostics and drugs for cancer and transplantation, and is a market leader in virology. It is also active in other major therapeutic areas such as autoimmune diseases, inflammatory and metabolic disorders and diseases of the central nervous system. In 2008 sales by the Pharmaceuticals Division totaled CHF 36.0 billion, and the Diagnostics Division posted sales of CHF 9.7 billion. Roche has R&D agreements and strategic alliances with numerous partners, including majority ownership interests in Genentech and Chugai, and invested nearly 9 billion Swiss francs in R&D in 2008. Worldwide, the Group employs about 80,000 people. Additional information is available on the Internet at

About innovatis
In the 1990s, a team of specialists from the scientific and the IT fields in Bielefeld, Germany developed the first fully automated cell counting system. This product soon afterwards revolutionized the market as it replaced manual cell counting in many laboratories in the pharmaceutical industry. The foundation stone was laid for the successful business development of innovatis AG. Today, many years later, this motto still applies to innovatis – the meaning, however, is no longer just applicable to cell counting. In the meantime, innovatis’ comprehensive consulting competence counts more to customers than the original product. For more information about innovatis, please visit the company’s website at

Ventizz Capital Partners was formed in 2000 and has offices in St. Gallen and Düsseldorf. Ventizz Capital Partners exclusively advises the Ventizz private equity funds that offer equity capital for the growth of high-tech companies in the German-speaking region. Ventizz has three partners: Dr. Helmut Vorndran, Reinhard Löchner and Willi Mannheims. Together with a team of 13 professionals they currently advise four funds with capital under management totaling EUR 675 million. Ventizz Capital Fund IV L.P. is the largest of the four funds set up to date. After six months of fund-raising, this fund was closed at the end of 2007 with a volume of EUR 450 million and is thus one of the largest private equity funds for venture capital and medium-sized tech buy outs in the German-speaking region.

To date, Ventizz funds have invested in 30 companies focusing on renewable energy, medical technology, information and communication technology and on other branches of high value-added manufacturing industries. In addition to a large number of trade sales, Ventizz has successfully placed three of its participating interests (ersol, SAF, PV Crystalox Solar) on the stock exchange.

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