KONGSBERG MARITIME ACQUIRES CONTROS SYSTEMS & SOLUTIONS GMBH
Successful Exit for the HTGF, KFW Bankengruppe and the private investor´s consortium led by Eckard Wohlgehagen.
Kongsberg Maritime AS, a wholly owned subsidiary of Kongsberg Gruppen ASA, has acquired the remaining 90% of the shares of the Germany based underwater chemical sensors specialist Contros Systems & Solutions GmbH. Contros was established in 2006 and is based in Kiel, close to Hamburg. The company develops, produces and markets underwater sensor systems to detect dissolved gasses such as hydrocarbons, CO2 and oxygen, as well as pH and total alkalinity (TA). Contros has built a strong reputation as a provider of complete systems for offshore early leak detection and environmental monitoring.
At the end of 2013, Kongsberg Maritime and Contros entered a cooperation agreement enabling a smart integration of modular sensor packages into Kongsberg Maritime solutions for subsea monitoring. As part of this agreement, Kongsberg Maritime took a 10% shareholding in Contros. In the past 15 months, Kongsberg Maritime solutions integrated with Contros technology have been well received in the global markets.
Following the acquisition, Contros will be part of the Subsea Monitoring business unit of Kongsberg Maritime’s Subsea Division. The focus of the business unit is the development, engineering and realisation of modular, scalable and networked subsea monitoring systems for existing and emerging markets, such as environmental monitoring, leak detection, marine research, arctic applications, fish farming and offshore renewables.
Bjørn Jalving, EVP of Kongsberg Maritime’s Subsea Division comments: “Contros has highly competent and motivated people that develop and produce innovative and high performing sensors for measuring dissolved gasses. Contros will continue as a leading provider of underwater sensors for global offshore energy and marine research markets. With Contros, Kongsberg Maritime will strengthen its ability to provide integrated solutions for existing and emerging applications.”
“The cooperation agreement with Kongsberg Maritime has strengthened the collaboration between our companies and fostered the integration of our sensor suites with KONGSBERG’s leading edge technology platforms. The acquisition of the remaining 90% of the shares is a strategic move forward, securing continued growth and development of Contros’ leading sensor technology,” says Daniel Esser, Managing Director of Contros.
Beeing Contros´s first investor,we are particularly pleased that we have realized such a profitable exit. Kongsberg is the ideal partner for Contros to develop the technology and the location in Kiel. This exit that is profitable for all investors and founders of Contros, goes in line with a number of likewise more profitable transactions from the hardware portfolio of the HTGF. Klaus Lehmann, Senior Investment manager of the HTGF said: “This transaction is a good example to demonstrate that its is possible to build successful technology business with start-ups in the area of sensor- and measurement technology which are interesting for international players in this sector.
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About Kongsberg Maritime
Kongsberg Maritime is a global marine technology company providing innovative and reliable technology solutions for all marine industry sectors including merchant, offshore, subsea and naval. Headquartered in Kongsberg, Norway, the company has manufacturing, sales and service facilities in 20 countries.
Kongsberg Maritime developed systems for vessels cover all aspects of automation, control, navigation, safety and dynamic positioning. Subsea solutions include single and multibeam echosounders, and AUV/underwater navigation, communication and camera systems. Marine and offshore training simulators, LNG solutions, information management, position reference systems and technology for seismic and drilling operations are also part of the company’s diverse technology portfolio.
Kongsberg Maritime delivers solutions that cover all aspects of technology underwater and on the water, aboard new build and retrofit vessels, and on offshore platforms and rigs, often under a single supplier strategy called The Full Picture.
Kongsberg Maritime is part of Kongsberg Gruppen (KONGSBERG), an international, knowledge-based group that celebrated 200 years in business during 2014. KONGSBERG supplies high-technology systems and solutions to customers in the oil and gas industry, the merchant marine, and the defence and aerospace industries.
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About High-Tech Gruenderfonds
High-Tech Gruenderfonds invests in young, high potential high-tech start-ups. The seed financing provided is designed to enable start-ups to take an idea through prototyping and to market launch. Typically, High-Tech Gruenderfonds invests EUR 500,000 in the seed stage, with the potential for up to a total of EUR 2 million per portfolio company in follow-on financing. Investors in this public/private partnership include the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy, the KfW Banking Group, as well as strategic corporate investors including ALTANA, BASF, Bayer, B. Braun, Robert Bosch, CEWE, Daimler, Deutsche Post DHL, Deutsche Telekom, Evonik, Lanxess, media + more venture Beteiligungs GmbH & Co. KG, METRO, Qiagen, RWE Innogy, SAP, Tengelmann and Carl Zeiss. High-Tech Gruenderfonds has about EUR 576 million under management in two funds (EUR 272 million HTGF I, EUR 304 million HTGF II).