• Acuity advises Carl Zeiss AG on the sale of its iTrap business unit to Atlas Copco

    DIVESTITURE

Atlas Copco Group, a Sweden-based provider of industrial productivity solutions has acquired iTrap® mass spectrometry technology from ZEISS. The business will become part of the Semiconductor Chamber Solutions Division in Atlas Copco‘s Business Area Vacuum Technique.

ZEISS has developed the ion trap mass spectrometer iTrap, a technology for highly sensitive, real time gas analysis. The technology is used for process analytics and advanced process control in the semiconductor market. iTrap can analyze important chemical processes in vacuum chambers of semiconductor manufacturing equipment and other applications giving important insights into process dynamics and can also enable process control. That is the first external sale of a ZEISS venture. The innovation will benefit from better market synergies that are available outside of ZEISS.

Atlas Copco will integrate iTrap in the Edwards business to synergize with other vacuum technology solutions of the worldwide market leader. At Edwards, the technology will benefit from a worldwide sales and service network as well as from innovation and application centers close to all relevant major customer sites worldwide.

The asset deal comprises the sale of the technology including intellectual properties and the transfer of key employees. Both parties have agreed not to disclose the purchase price or other details of the agreement. Completion of the transaction was on 3 August 2020.

Gerrit Schulte, Head of ZEISS Ventures and Daniel Ritter, Head of ZEISS M&A:

“We selected Acuity as advisors in this process because of their semiconductor expertise and strong network of industry contacts. Both proved essential in crafting the right selling messages, identifying the optimal partner and ultimately structuring a transaction which aligned all parties’ interests.”

Oliver Markl, Managing Partner at Acuity Advisors:

“The iTrap is another example of the ZEISS culture of engineering excellence. Starting with an idea and from scratch eight years ago, the iTrap team developed and built a technology which allows its customers to understand for the first time the chemical processes in the vacuum chamber in real time – an advance which in turn will unlock material yield improvements and create substantial value in the production process. It was exciting to support the ZEISS team in finding the ideal strategic partner. Edwards is perfectly positioned to help iTrap in its next phase of growth and we wish them much success.”

Matthew Byatt, Supporting Partner at Acuity Advisors:

“Being the most successful mid-market advisor in the semiconductor sector enabled us to add real value in this project. We demonstrated our comprehensive understanding of the industry, an ability to grasp complex engineering concepts and we accessed our international network to find exactly the right buyer in Edwards.”

“We selected Acuity as advisors in this process because of their semiconductor expertise and strong network of industry contacts. Both proved essential in crafting the right selling messages, identifying the optimal partner and ultimately structuring a transaction which aligned all parties’ interests.”

GERRIT SCHULTE & DANIEL RITTER | Head
ZEISS Ventures & ZEISS M&A

With a background as M&A banker at J.P. Morgan and a senior private equity professional at mid-market firm Monitor Clipper Partners, Oliver has been exposed for over 20 years to a wide variety of transaction situations with European mid-cap and large cap companies, with a particular focus on software and financial services.

Oliver´s experience is very broad-based: he advised on M&A transactions and equity & debt raises, served on the board of portfolio companies, took operational CFO roles and restructured balance sheets. He also founded and ran his own software company, for which he raised close to EUR 10m. This 360° view allows him to understand everybody´s point of view and priorities when talking to shareholders, management teams and investors, and facilitates finding creative solutions and optimal transaction structures.

Oliver has a Diplôme d´Ingènieur from the Ecole Polytechnique in Paris and a diploma in international relations from Johns Hopkins SAIS in Bologna. He has lived in France, Germany, Austria, the UK and the US, and speaks mother tongue level German and French, as well as decent Italian and Spanish. He currently serves on the board of Reverse Logistics Group in Munich.

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