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Wellington Partners invests in three new portfolio companies

Munich, June 14, 2006. Wellington Partners continues to broaden its holdings in the “Electronics” investment sector, and within a matter of weeks has invested in three new portfolio companies: BridgeCo, Cavendish Kinetics and Negevtech. “There are currently outstanding investment opportunities in the semiconductor industry,” explains Wellington General Partner Bart Markus. “We have now invested in three companies whose technology, international alignment and seasoned management offer them the opportunity of swiftly playing or expanding a leading role in their markets.”

California-based BridgeCo produces processors and software with which DVD players or other digital players, such as laptops, breakout boxes or even musical instruments, can be networked with one another. In addition, the company’s digital networking solutions verify whether the required digital rights have been acquired when a song, a video or a photo is used – thus guaranteeing effective Digital Rights Management throughout the entire home. Seasoned manager and new CEO Gene Sheridan and his team have received $23 million in a fourth round of financing, which was co-led by Wellington Partners and Advent Venture Partners; also participating were existing investors Benchmark Capital, Cipio Partners, Earlybird Venture Capital, Fidelity Ventures and Intel Capital. BridgeCo will be using the new funding to accelerate market adoption and product development activities.

Cavendish Kinetics, a Cambridge University spin-off, specializes in manufacturing micro-mechanical memory elements and the process of integrating them into standard CMOS (complementary metal oxide semiconductor) or other processes. In a second round of financing led by Wellington Partners and Tallwood Venture Capital, Cavendish Kinetics received $15.5 million. CEO Dr. Mike Beunder and his team intend to use the new funding to continue the development of its Nanomech technology and expand its market presence among integrated device manufacturers (IDMs), fabless semiconductor companies and CMOS foundries.

Israel-based Negevtech, a winner of the Red Herring Top 100 Award, specializes in wafer inspection quality control in semiconductor production environments. Thanks to Negevtech’s innovative Step&Image technology, the quality control process in the production of the current breed of 65-nanometer wafers can be speeded up significantly, thus dramatically lowering costs. Chip veteran and former AG Associates CEO Dr. Arnon Gat and his team secured $14 million in a fourth round of financing under the lead of Wellington, in which existing investors Pitango, Genesis, Poalim and Intel Capital participated. The company will be using the new funds to broaden its technology edge and expand its customer base.

About Wellington Partners
Wellington Partners, formed in 1991, ranks amongst Europe's most successful early-stage investors. With €400 million under management, the firm focuses on helping European entrepreneurs build companies with a large global market opportunity, mostly in the areas of information technology, media convergence and life science.

To date, Wellington Partners has invested in over 85 companies, selling a third of them at a profit, in seven cases through an IPO. Serving as the lead or co-lead investor, Wellington Partners has already accompanied such successful high-tech players as biotech company Actelion or software vendor SAF AG in their IPOs, and guided online service company Ciao AG, for example, in its merger with Greenfield Online, software company Meiosys in its merger with IBM and German auctioneer Alando when acquired by eBay. For further information:

Publisher Contact Information:

Wellington Partners
+49 (0) 89-219941-0

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