3i backs Ezurio spin out from TDK, bluetooth wireless leader

08 Nov 2004

London based TDK Systems, Europe's leading supplier of Bluetooth modular solutions has been spun out to form a new 3i backed company, Ezurio. The deal was led and co-ordinated by 3i, Europe's leading venture capitalist firm.

As part of the spinout, 3i has invested £3m for a significant stake and are taking an active role in the company with 3i directors, Laurence Garrett and Krishna Visvanathan joining the board.

The Bluetooth market, especially in Europe, has rocketed in the past couple of years with shipments now in excess of 11 million units per month. Ezurio's development team has led the introduction of Bluetooth in the European market since 1999 with innovative designs for the computing and mobile telephony markets.  In recent months this has extended into the development of pre-approved modules that are finding applications in areas as diverse as chip and pin Electronic Point of Sale (EPOS), medical equipment and luxury cars. The company offers products ranging from the retail FoneStyla adaptors to the Blu2i industrial wireless solutions.

3i introduced some accomplished industry veterans to the Ezurio team with Chris Shannon, former CEO of Indigo Photonics; another 3i investment, as CEO in June 2004 and Gary Vanstone as Chairman. Nick Hunn, previously MD of TDK Systems and a Bluetooth technical industry advocate, assumes the role of CTO.  

Laurence Garrett, 3i director commented: "3i's investment in Ezurio will allow the business to maximise its potential and leadership in this exciting market. The new management team's proven track record in leading fast growth technology businesses will be an invaluable asset for Ezurio's future success. Krishna Visvanathan and I look forward to joining the Board and to working closely with the team."

Chris Shannon, CEO of Ezurio added "We are delighted to be able to take Ezurio to the next level, building on TDK Systems' successful lead in consumer products, Ezurio will strengthen and extend the company's development of embedded wireless products and system level solutions to original equipment manufacturers and integrators, consolidating its lead in this exploding market.

Notes to editors

About Ezurio

Ezurio is a leading supplier of Bluetooth wireless solutions.  Ezurio offers complete Bluetooth modules that provide instant, pre-approved wireless capability to a wide range of OEM customers.  With offices in London and mainland Europe the company is dedicated to providing a complete range of short range wireless solutions to the OEM sector.    
For more information, go to: http://www.ezurio.com

About 3i
3i is a world leader in private equity and venture capital and a winner of the "VC Fund of the Year 2004" Investor AllStars Award. We focus on buy-outs, growth capital and venture capital and invest across Europe, in the United States and in Asia Pacific. Our competitive advantage comes from our international network and the strength and breadth of our relationships in business. It underpins the value that we deliver to our portfolio and to our shareholders.

In the 6 months to 30 September 2004, 3i's venture capital business invested £74m in early stage technology companies and during the year achieved such successes as the floatation of Cambridge Silicon Radio on the London Stock Exchange, led a $40m series C financing round in Vonage, the leading provider of broadband phone service and the £2m investment in a start-up, 42 Objects, and many others. 
For more information, go to: http://www.3i.com

For further information or photography, please contact:

Rachel Richards
3i Press Office 
Tel:     +44 (0) 20 7975 3573
Mob:   +44 (0) 7808 947 122
Email: rachel_richards@3i.com

Nick Hunn
Ezurio
Tel:        +44 (0) 20 8938 1011
Mobile:  +44 (0) 776 8890 148   
Fax:     +44 (0) 20 8905 8608
Email: nick.hunn@ezurio.com