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The Co-Operative and Catapult Finance MBO of World Leading Oxford Cryosystems

13 October 2010

The Co-Operative and Catapult Finance MBO of World Leading Oxford Cryosystems

The Birmingham office of Catapult Venture Managers, together with The Co-operative Bank, have jointly funded the management buy-out (MBO) of global market leader Oxford Cryosystems Ltd.

The MBO of Cryosystems - from its UK owners for an undisclosed sum - was funded  through a loan facility from the Bank’s Oxford corporate banking centre and the Catapult Growth Fund.

Managing Director Richard Glazer is leading the MBO from UK parent company Bionostics Ltd which acquired the business originally in 2008. The MBO is being undertaken to ensure a stable future for the business and its staff and to allow the team to invest in new and existing products and services.

Ed Wass, Investment Director with Catapult Venture Managers, commented: “We are delighted to be backing a strong management team in Richard and Alex who are extremely well respected figures within this sector and have an excellent track record of delivering products that the market wants to buy.”

Richard Glazer said: “The management team had wanted to undertake a buy-out for some time and, in the past, had struggled to secure the right levels of funding. Securing support from both The Co-operative Bank and Catapult meant that management could put in a viable offer for the business.”

Steve Bateman, Senior Business Development Manager at the Oxford CBC of The Co-operative Bank, said: “Working in and around Oxford we receive regular approaches from highly innovative companies working in market leading technologies.

“Oxford Cryosystems’ products are rated highly amongst their client base worldwide and with an excellent management team at the helm, we were delighted to assist in this local MBO transaction. We were supported by professional firms in Oxford, which included Critchleys Chartered Accountants, alongside our legal advisors – Morgan Cole Solicitors, Henmans, which acted for the MBO team and George Green Solicitors, which advised Catapult.

“Developing a long term relationship with our customers is a key part of our corporate strategy and this financing shows that even in today’s uncertain economic climate, we’re still very much open for business and lending to companies with impressive business strategies.”

Oxford Cryosystems started life in a basement room at the University of Oxford in 1985 and has grown to be a market leader worldwide in developing applications for low temperature devices used in x-ray crystallography.

Crystallography helps scientists to determine the arrangement of atoms and the structure of a material, its chemical binds and purify and its applications include material engineering, biology, chemistry and physics.

Customers of Oxford Cryosystems include universities, colleges, government-funded research facilities, hospitals and private research institutes worldwide.

The business originated from the work of John Cosier and Prof Mike Glazer at the University of Oxford where they were based in the Department of Physics at the Clarendon Laboratory.

Its initial product was a nitrogen gas low temperature system for X-ray diffraction called the Cryostream Cooler.  Sales of the product rose and in 1993, John Cosier left his job at the University and moved the business to its current location at Blenheim Office Park, Long Hanborough.

The range of products now includes:

Cryostream – a liquid nitrogen based open flow nitrogen cooler.

Cobra – a nitrogen gas open-flow system using a mechanical cooler.

DTC – a mechanical cooler targeted at the “Desktop” chemical crystallography market.

HeliX - a helium or nitrogen gas cooling system, safer than liquid.

PheniX – a helium cryostat with fast cool down time & high temperature stability.

Crystallographica software – licensed to a leading X-ray diffraction manufacturer.