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Private equity in action - Case Study

CryLas Photonics Group

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Country Germany
Region Berlin
Investor SHS

When SHS invested in CryLas in 2002, the business had spun out of an East German electronics factory, was producing optical components and was in the early stages of developing solid state lasers. Shortly after investment, the company lost the lead US customer.

However, within two years of investing, SHS had restructured the company and over the next few years, SHS supported the company’s expansion plans by investing in new product development and acquiring other German laser businesses. In 2007, the company’s focus on high quality led to a Technology Award of the Defence Industry. With SHS’s help for over 15 years, CryLas has become a fast-growing laser/photonics company integrating optical components, laser and laser systems for the biotechnology, semiconductor, analytics and other sectors.

Dr. Helmut Spanner


CryLas Photonics Group

Thanks to the investment of SHS, we could improve and expand our service significantly. Without the financial aid, the expansion and product improvements it wouldn’t have been possible for us. Besides, I’m pleased that with SHS, we’ve found an investor who shares and enhances our corporate values. Quotation Marks Graphic

annual sales growth


employees, up from 20

What did the business need?

  • Capital for product development and marketing
  • Guidance on strategy to enter new markets
  • Support in identifying and completing complementary acquisitions

How did venture capital backing create lasting value?

  • Restructured the business to form two companies - one focusing on lasers, the other on optical components
  • Supported the development of new products through investment in R&D
  • Took the business into new industries, such as medical and semiconductor and regions: Asia, US
  • Helped recruit senior management
  • Supported the acquisition of two German laser companies
  • Provided long-term support and backing of the business - an investor for over ten years

What outcomes did private equity investment achieve?

  • Grown sales and revenues by 15% annually
  • Developed international sales from just 20% in 2002 to 80% in 2013
  • Increased employee numbers from 20 to 95
  • Built a management team capable of taking the business into the future

More information

CryLas Photonics Group



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