WELLESLEY, Mass. – Ampersand Ventures, founded in 1988 as a spin-off from PaineWebber Inc., focuses exclusively on investments in the specialty materials and chemicals (SMC) industry. The firm invests in a variety of sectors, including health care, telecommunications, electronics, industrial process control and building materials, and has no geographic or stage preferences.
Ampersand seeks to invest between $5 million and $10 million over the life of a portfolio company. The firm prefers to be the lead investor, as it is in more than half of its portfolio companies, but also accepts other roles.
Limited partners are a mix of financial institutions and SMC-operating companies but do not include individual investors. The firm also has had international investors from the Netherlands and England.
Ampersand will raise its fourth fund this year with a target of $150 million. Its current vehicle, the $100 million Ampersand Specialty Materials and Chemicals III, closed in 1996 and is about two-thirds invested; the $60 million Ampersand Specialty Materials and Chemicals II, closed in 1992, the $40 million Ampersand Specialty Materials Ventures, raised in 1988, are fully invested.
The firm’s managing general partner is Richard Charpie and general partners are Stuart Auerbach, K. Kachadurian, Peter Parker and Charles Yie. The management team also consists of Special Partner David Ragone, Special Partner and Chairman Robert Charpie, Partner Paul Zigman and Partner and Chief Financial Officer Donald Hawthorne, all of whom work out of Ampersand’s Wellesley, Mass., headquarters. David Parker is a general partner in the firm’s Encinitas, Calif., office.
Select Ampersand Ventures portfolio companies follow:
ACLARA BioSciences Inc. (Hayward, Calif.) develops micro-fluidics-based systems for drug discovery and genetic analysis.
Co-investors include 2C Optics Inc., Johnson & Johnson Development Corp. and The Perkin-Elmer Corp.
Advanced Chemistry and Technology Inc. (Garden Grove, Calif.) manufactures aerospace adhesives and sealants.
AutoCyte Inc. (Burlington, N.C.) develops cervical cancer screening systems. The company held an IPO in 1997.
Co-investors include Hoffmann La-Roche and Sprout Group.
Kroy Building Products Inc. (York, Neb.) manufactures polyvinyl chloride fencing and building products.
MicroPack Corp. (Zephyrhills, Fla.) manufactures polyethylene terephthalate bottled ultra-pure water sold under private labels.
Missbrenner Inc. (Clifton, N.J.) is a printer of apparel textiles for the swimwear and intimate apparel industries.
Moldflow Corp. (Lexington, Mass., and Kilsyth, Australia) manufactures process analysis/control software for the plastic injection molding industry.
Pentose Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Cambridge, Mass.) develops nucleic acid-based anti-viral compounds for use in blood products and for the treatment of human papilloma virus and related viruses.
Protein Ingredient Technologies (Wellesley, Mass.) produces whey protein concentrates and whey-based food ingredients.
NOVEX (San Diego, Calif.) manufactures electrophoresis gels and related hardware for researchers in life sciences.
Silicon Wave Inc. (San Diego, Calif.) manufactures radio frequency chip sets for wireless applications.
Co-investors include Sevin Rosen Funds and Star Ventures Enterprises.
Ampersand Ventures is located at 55 William Street, Suite 240, Wellesley, Mass. 02481, tel. (781) 239-0700, fax. (781) 239-0824; 162 South Rancho Santa Fe Road, Suite B55, Encinitas, Calif. 92024, tel. (760) 632-0626, fax. (760) 632-0284. Additional information about the firm can be found on the Web at www.ampersandventures.com.