RYE, NY, May 15, 2014 – SFW Capital Partners, a specialized private equity firm that invests with management in mid-sized companies providing analytical tools and related services, today announced an investment in Essen BioScience, Inc. SFW is partnering in this investment with Essen’s co-founders, Kirk Schroeder and Brad Neagle, who serve as the current President and Vice-President of Operations and Engineering respectively, and its management team. As a team, the partners at SFW have supported some of the most successful and well-regarded companies in the analytical instrumentation market, including Mettler-Toledo International, Waters Corporation, Spectro Scientific and Industrial Dynamics Company (“filtec”). With SFW’s strategic support and resources, Essen plans on making significant investments to further expand its applications and assays, develop and introduce innovative new products, and continue to enhance its sales, service and support capabilities.
Essen BioScience, based in Ann Arbor, MI, is a leading provider of critical analytical instrumentation, software, reagents and services used in cell-based life science research. Essen was founded in 1999 by Kirk Schroeder and Brad Neagle who have previously been responsible for “best/first in class” innovations in the field of cell-based in-vitro assays and instrumentation with FLIPR in 1994 and IonWorks in 2002. Essen’s flagship product, the IncuCyteZOOMTM live-content imaging system, provides researchers unparalleled access to quantitative, kinetic cellular biology while improving data quality and streamlining image collection through automation of the cell analysis process. The IncuCyte combines Essen’s unique hardware system, sophisticated software, deep knowledge of cellular biology and proprietary cell reagents enabling researchers to observe and quantify a variety of cellular functions while the cells remain unperturbed in the cell culture incubator. Essen’s customers include the world’s leading researchers at biopharmaceutical companies including Merck, Genentech, Amgen, GlaxoSmithKline, AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Pfizer, amongst others, and leading academic and research institutions including Harvard, MD Anderson, Yale, Cambridge, University of Michigan, Tokyo, Seoul National University, and Kyoto University.
“Essen exhibits the key characteristics that we look for in our investments in the analytical instrumentation market: high-value products and services, deep customer relationships, and significant opportunities for growth,” said Roger Freeman, SFW Partner, who will be a member of the Essen Board of Directors. “We look forward to partnering with Kirk, Brad and the Essen management team to build on and extend the success of the Company.”
“We are very pleased to be partnering with the SFW team, which is a well-known long-term investor and builder of analytical instrumentation businesses,” said Mr. Schroeder. “We are very proud of our current and historical accomplishments here at Essen, and this significant investment serves as a strong endorsement for our business model, growth strategy and future prospects.”
About SFW Capital Partners
SFW Capital Partners is the Leading Investor in Analytical Tools and Related Services companies, including providers of instrumentation, software, information and business services. SFW is a specialized private equity firm where its 20+ years of knowledge of the relevant business models, technology, competitive dynamics and service requirements gives it a unique ability to support management teams in growing their companies and building value. For more information, please visit www.sfwcap.com
About Essen BioScience, Inc.
Essen BioScience, based in Ann Arbor, MI, is a leading provider of critical analytical instrumentation, software, reagents and services used in cell-based life sciences research. Essen’s flagship product, the IncuCyteZOOMTM live-content imaging system, provides researchers unparalleled access to quantitative, kinetic cellular biology while improving data quality and streamlining image collection through automation of the cell analysis process. The IncuCyte is used at hundreds of locations across the world in labs focused on cell production, microscopy/ imaging, assay development and screening. The technology is applicable to almost every cell-based research area including oncology, stem-cell science, and neurobiology. Essen serves the leading biopharmaceutical, academic and research institutions around the globe through offices in Michigan, the United Kingdom and Japan. For more information, please visit http://www.essenbioscience.com