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SHS and KfW invest in white biotechnology growth company
Equity stake in Leipzig-based c-LEcta GmbH

• Financing forward-looking technologies, in spite of the crisis
• Sustainable growth
• International expansion planned

Tübingen, Germany, November 10, 2008 – Funds from Tübingen-based growth investor SHS Gesellschaft für Beteiligungsmanagement are investing in Leipzig-based c-LEcta GmbH within the framework of an increase of capital. This company has developed a technology that enables enzymes for a wide variety of applications to be identified and produced swiftly and cost-effectively. Enzymes are used, among other places, in the production of pharmaceuticals and foods, as well as in the chemical industry. The company plans to utilize its venture capital financing to develop more of its own products for market and to expand internationally. KfW is investing in this company as a co-investor through the ERP Start-up Fund.

c-LEcta GmbH was formed in the autumn of 2004 as a spin-off from the University of Leipzig. Its customer base includes numerous prominent companies, such as Clariant or BASF. Together with an industry partner, the c- LEcta team of researchers has developed an enzyme formulation for removing grass stains from textiles, for example, for which it has filed a patent. A further example of a highly promising product from this company is an enzyme that prevents the formation of acrylamide in heat-treated foods, such as coffee or corn flakes. Considerable potential applications also exist in the field of using enzymes to produce valuable chemicals (biocatalysis) and industrial products from renewable raw materials.

“White, or industrial, biotechnology can make a substantial contribution toward solving a variety of problems, including those relating to the supply of food and energy. This makes it one of the most important forward-looking technologies of our age. In financing c-LEcta, we want to participate in this forward-looking technology and actively support the growth of innovative companies, especially in these times of crisis,” notes Hubertus Leonhardt, a Partner in SHS Gesellschaft für Beteiligungsmanagement, with regard to the investment.

High-Tech Gründerfonds had already supported the first phase of the company’s development, and KfW is now engaging as a co-investor within the framework of the further growth phase of this biotech company. “c-LEcta demonstrates how outstanding research at a German university can be successfully transferred to private-sector applications. White biotechnology is helping to conserve natural resources, to reduce environmental impact, as well as to increase efficiency and reduce costs in various industrial sectors. It must therefore be a central element of a strategy of sustainable growth,” says Marco Winzer, a senior executive at High-Tech Gründerfonds.

“We are delighted that thanks to our investors we will be able to grow and move into additional markets, in spite of the financial crisis. We presently have any number of value-adding enzyme products in our development pipeline. With this additional funding, we will now be able to optimally continue to develop them,” is the way Marc Struhalla, founder and CEO of c-LEcta GmbH, explains the increase of capital. Marc Struhalla and Thomas Greiner-Stöffele, the company’s two co-founders, will continue to remain its principal shareholders.

Following Biontis GmbH, the equity stake in c-LEcta GmbH is the second investment made by SHS Gesellschaft für Beteiligungsmanagement since the first closing of SHS Fund III in April of this year.

Investors from Germany and Europe brought €40 million to the first closing of this third fund to be launched by Tübingen-based SHS Gesellschaft für Beteiligungsmanagement. These investors include the European Investment Fund (EIF), through which the SHS Fund is receiving funding from the ERP-EIF umbrella fund and from the European Union’s “Competitive and Innovation Framework Programme” (CIP), Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW), a pension fund, the Fund of Funds, as well as various entrepreneurs, family asset management organizations and the SHS management team, itself. It is expected that SHS will include further investors in the Fund within the framework of its second closing.

Like its predecessor funds, SHS Fund III will be investing in attractive companies that have marketable products that relate to food sciences. With its investments in companies like VITA 34, ProBioGen and Novosis, SHS has a proven track record as a seasoned expansion specialist whose fields of expertise include the Life Sciences.

SHS will be investing its new Fund in sectors that offer fast, substantial growth opportunities for young, innovative companies. In particular, this includes medical technology, as well as supplier, diagnostic, platform and production technologies. SHS invests exclusively in companies with marketable products and technologies. In addition to providing capital to its portfolio companies, the seasoned SHS team also contributes management expertise and resources for corporate development and expansion.

About SHS Gesellschaft für Beteiligungsmanagement mbH
Established in Tübingen, Germany, in 1993, SHS Gesellschaft für Beteiligungsmanagement specializes in financing and advising young companies in forward-looking sectors, especially Healthcare and Life Sciences. SHS currently has around €120 million in investment capital under management in its existing funds. Its principal shareholders are former McKinsey consultants Bernhard Schirmers and Reinhilde Spatscheck, as well as Hubertus Leonhardt, who had previously been a corporate finance project manager with Arthur Andersen.

About the ERP Start-up Fund from KfW
With the support of the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology, the ERP Start-up Fund from KfW Mittelstandsbank provides venture capital to small technology companies for financing the development of innovative products, processes or services. The prerequisite for a KfW investment is that a further investor (lead investor) invest at least the same amount as KfW Mittelstandsbank and service the KfW holdings along with its own.

About High-Tech Gründerfonds
High-Tech Gründerfonds invests venture capital in young, promising technology companies that are entrepreneurially implementing highly promising research findings. With the aid of seed financing of up to K€500, the objective is for the start-ups to advance their R&D project through to the provision of a prototype, a proof of concept or a market launch. High-Tech Gründerfonds possesses a fund volume of some €272.0 million. Investors in this public-private partnership are the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology, the KfW Bank Group, as well as six industrial concerns, BASF, Deutsche Telekom, Siemens, Robert Bosch, Daimler and Carl Zeiss.

About c-LEcta GmbH
c-LEcta GmbH is a company from the field of white biotechnology that focuses on developing and marketing enzymes in industrial processes. The company specializes in discovering, optimizing and producing enzymes on the basis of patented technologies. Working under strategic partnerships, new customtailored enzymes are preferably developed and made available for new enzyme applications. The field of applications ranges from the employment of enzymes in detergents and cleansers to the use of enzymes in the food industry right through to the utilization of enzymes to synthesize valuable compounds for the chemical and pharmaceutical industries.

Further information is available from:

Simon Baumann
t: +49.(0)89. 2000 30-32
f: +49.(0)89. 2000 30-40

Publisher Contact Information:

+49.(0)89. 2000 30-32

Company profile of SHS Gesellschaft für Beteiligungsmanagement
Past press releases of SHS Gesellschaft für Beteiligungsmanagement.


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