Dublin VC firm sells Nanotech for US$34m

7 Apr 2011

Dublin-based venture capital company Atlantic Bridge has sold one of its portfolio companies Nanotech Semiconductors to Gennum Corporation for US$34m.

The deal has a potential earn-out of up to US$6m if certain revenue targets are achieved by Nanotech over the next 12 months.

Nanotech is a fabless semiconductor company focusing on analog and mixed-signal integrated circuits for the fibre-optics communications marketplace. Since its initial investment in 2004, Atlantic Bridge has led or participated in all funding rounds, and is represented on the board by founding partner Brian Long.

This is the fourth exit transaction for the Atlantic Bridge I portfolio, out of a total of 12 investments, and the second exit transaction in the last six months. Atlantic Bridge has now achieved successful portfolio exits to strategic buyers in North America, Europe and Asia.

“We are very pleased to have delivered attractive returns within a relatively short time frame,” Long said.

“Our confidence in increasing our equity position in the company last year has been validated.”

Compelling optical IC transceiver portfolio

Long believes Gennum’s acquisition of Nanotech creates one of the industry’s most compelling optical IC transceiver portfolios.

Nanotech was founded by serial entrepreneur Gary Steele, who previously founded Acapella and Microcosm Communications.

Nanotech specialises in developing low-cost, high-performance CMOS-based optical products and technologies for the fibre-optics communications market. Under Steele’s leadership, Nanotech has built up a rich portfolio of technology and products, and has demonstrated strong growth momentum in recent years.

“Atlantic Bridge has been a very supportive investor in Nanotech since 2004,” Steele said. “Their expertise and professional contribution to the company, at both strategic and board levels, have been very much appreciated.”

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years