Wellington & Sofinnova exit Cobion

Cobion, the Kassel, Germany based web filtering and anti-spam technology company, funded by Sofinnova and Wellington Partners has been sold to Internet Security Systems (ISS), the Atlanta-based and NASDAQ-listed IT security company. The reputed sale price is around €26m in cash.

Sofinnova first back Cobion, which was originally founded in 1997. Sofinnova was joined in a subsequent round of funding, worth $4.5m, in the autumn of 2002. By the time of its sale to ISS, Cobion already had a significant European and US reach in its operation.

Cobion grew its sales by 25% in each of the last four quarters. “The Cobion acquisition completes our Proventia all-in-one solution with technology that matches the reputation and uncompromising quality ISS is known for,” says Tom Noonan, CEO of ISS.

According to IDC, global demand for IT content security is expected to rise to over $1.5bn in 2006.

This is the second time that Cobion CFO Friedrich von Diest and CSO Olaf Jacobi have played a key role in building a successful technology vendor. In the 1990s they were members of Chipbroker, now a publicly traded company and also financed by Wellington Partners.