Atlas, Apax secure Systemonic exit

Dutch electronics giant Philips has paid an undisclosed sum for the VC-backed German wireless network company.

Systemonic, a Dresden-based developer of silicon chip technology and wireless local area networks, has been acquired by Dutch electronics business Royal Philips Electronics, providing a timely exit for a number of VCs and corporate venturers.

The financial details of the transaction have not been disclosed, although a group of financial and strategic investors, comprising Apax Partners, Atlas Ventures, Raytheon and Sony Ventureshave contributed around E40m to Systemonic since the company’s inception in 1999.

Systemonic is a spin-off from the Technical University of Dresden. Professor Gerhard Fettweis, head of the Mannesmann mobile telecommunications chair at the Technical University of Dresden, and Dr Michael Bolle, an expert on digital audio broadcasting at Robert Bosch, have developed 802.11a/b and g wireless technology, which is expected to dominate the wireless connectivity market over the next two years.

The exit will come as a useful boost to Atlas Venture, one of Systemonic’s lead investors, which this week was forced to cut staff at both its European and US offices following a decision to reduce its most recent venture fund, the $967m Atlas Venture VI, back to $600m in the light of adverse market conditions.