– TAT achieves target

Transatlantic Technology Capital Partners (TAT) has closed its second fund on target at $75 million (euros 74 million). Founded in 1997 by a group of former industrialists, TAT invests in early-stage companies in the semiconductors, medical devices, industrial electronics, robotics/automation and computer technology sectors. Operating out of offices in Zurich, San Jose, Stockholm and Paris, TAT focuses on the German-speaking European markets, Sweden, Israel and the US. Its first fund, dating from June 1997, deployed $44 million including co-investment capital, to reach full investment by the end of 1998.

TAT partner and managing director Thomas Egolf reports that the new fund, AT Investments CV has already committed 20 per cent of its capital. Three investments have already been completed and two more were approaching completion at press time.

Describing TAT’s investment strategy, Egolf said TAT differentiates itself from rival venture firms through the combination of its management team’s industrial background, its transatlantic approach, a closely defined sector focus and an insistence on participating as lead investor. “Our value-added comes from detailed industry knowledge,” says Egolf.

Egolf, a former managing director of Cellpack, was later instrumental as CEO in establishing Zevatech Inc as one of the leading global players in electronic assembly systems and semiconductor packaging technology. Fellow partner and managing director Rolf Haegler, a specialist in medical technology, has worked with Ruegge Medical, Kontron and, most recently, with cardio-diagnostics group Schiller, of which he was co-owner and managing director. Partner Johan Ekman is an independent technology and business analyst and consultant with a background in industrial electronics. Mark Putney, also a partner, is based in Silicon Valley and owns several companies operating in PCB fabrication and assembly equipment and capital leasing. Director Kaz Nomoto is general manger of Juki Corporation’s electronic assembly and test systems division.

Egolf says that all investors in TAT’s first fund have participated in the second offering. However, the bulk of the current fund was drawn from new sources, primarily Swiss investors including PE Holding and a number of major insurance companies. TAT Investments also attracted Norwegian capital, together with a relatively small proportion of US monies.

TAT participates in start-up, early-stage and growth situations, investing between $1 million and $5 million per company from its own funds, though it may undertake larger financings in conjunction with fund co-investors or other venture capital houses.

TAT will ensure that the new fund’s portfolio is balanced in terms of region, industry and investment stage. Investments will be split 50/50 between US and non-US markets. Half the fund’s capital will be dedicated to early-stage investments, while 30 per cent is earmarked for growth-stage opportunities, leaving 20 per cent available for start-up deals. Semiconductor and medical devices ventures will each account for 40 per cent of portfolio value, with other electronics-related companies absorbing the balance.