Press Release

Profitable exit: KonTEM trade sale to FEI Company (NASDAQ: FEIC)

22 May 2014 at 08:24

Joint press release by High-Tech Gruenderfonds (HTGF), Max Planck Innovation GmbH and research centre caesar

Bonn, 22nd May 2014: KonTEM GmbH, an HTGF-financed spin-off of the Max Planck Society and the research centre caesar, was taken over by FEI Company on a share deal basis. Thus the phase contrast technology developed by KonTEM is absorbed in the portfolio of a globally operating market leader in the field of high-performance microscopy workflow solutions.

The phase contrast system for transmission electron microscopy (TEM) developed by KonTEM enables a two to three times better image contrast without compromising resolution, hence opening up new possibilities for the examination of biological samples in the technological border area.

The research on the underlying technology was conducted at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysics in Frankfurt and further development at caesar turned it into a marketable product which is currently in the customer test period. “KonTEM exemplifies that fundamental research as it is conducted by the Max Planck Society can be the basis for innovative and market-driven products”, says Dr. Florian Kirschenhofer, Startup Manager at Max-Planck-Innovation, Max Planck's technology transfer organization.

The technology and the company were prized on several occasions, for example with the highest award of the NUK business plan competition in 2011 and the Innovation Award of the cooperative bank Volksbank Bonn Rhein-Sieg in 2012. Prof. Dr. U. Benjamin Kaupp, Scientific Director at caesar: “The acquisition by an industry leader like FEI shows that KonTEM disposes of an extraordinary and future-oriented technology.”

The M&A mandate for the successful exit was carried out by HTGF. Dr. Andreas Olmes, Investment Director: “We are very happy for the buyer as well as for the KonTEM management. KonTEM’s proprietary phase contrast technology has found a great new home with FEI.”

About caesar foundation
The caesar foundation is associated with the Max Planck Society and operates a centre for neuroscientific research in Bonn. It disposes of high resolution and analytical (cryo-) electron microscopes for structure determination, spectroscopy and nanostructuring. The scientific work is carried out according to the Max Planck Society’s criteria of excellence. More press releases and photographs can also be found on the internet under: www.caesar.de.

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