Cipio acquires DaimlerChrysler venture assets

Cipio Partners, the private equity secondary investor with offices in London and Munich, has acquired the entire investment portfolio of DaimlerChrysler Venture.

DaimlerChrysler Venture, the corporate venture capital arm of automotive manufacturer DaimlerChrysler which was launched in 1997, has sold its entire portfolio of venture investments to Cipio Partners, the private equity secondary investment firm.

The portfolio comprises investments in international technology, electronics and media enterprises such as Iteris, a Los Angeles-based telematics applications developer, and Definiens, a Munich-headquartered life sciences informatics firm. The consideration paid for the assets has not been disclosed. 

Cipio managing partner Tom Anthofer told PrivateEquityOnline the portfolio comprised around seven 'live' assets that will be actively managed by Cipio and its co-investors. Anthofer said there was strong competiiton for the assets via a formal auction organised by German boutique Doertenbach & Co, and that Cipio had progressed through 'a few rounds of bidding'. Anthofer said he attributed Cipio's victory in the auction to 'a combination of price, time to closure and the certainty of closure'.

DaimlerChrysler has used its venture arm to make strategic investments in areas relevant to the parent company, such as telematics. However, it decided to stop actively seeking new investments around a year ago.     

Said Werner Dreesbach, managing partner of Cipio Partners: “Following our purchase of two investment entities from Deutsche Telekom earlier this year, this transaction represents a further significant step on our way to building a major international private equity firm. We are grateful for the support of the DaimlerChrysler Group and look forward to maintaining a close relationship with them in future.”

Added Anthofer: “We view transactions such as DaimlerChrysler Venture as a prime example for disposals currently underway or being formalised by industrial concerns, banks and insurers as well as private equity firms themselves, which are increasingly seeking to dispose of certain parts of their holdings.”

Cipio Partners is focused on the acquisition and management of direct investment portfolios in the secondary market. With offices in London and Munich, it advises a portfolio of early and late-stage venture capital and mid-market buyout investments.

Anthofer said he continued to see opportunities to acquire corporate venturing portfolios, particularly in France, Germany and Scandinavia.

Cipio was launched in 2003 by its three managing partners: Tom Anthofer, a former senior former partner of Broadview Holdings, the New York-based technology focused investment bank; Werner Dreesbach, who was previously a senior principal of Atlas Venture, the global early-stage investment firm; and Dr Hans-Dieter Koch, the former CEO of b-business partners, the pan-European venture capital firm sponsored by Investor AB, the investment vehicle of the Wallenberg family.