Philips spins Axsun back out of Volcano, sells it to venture firm

IntegraSpec XL NIR microspectroscopy platform--Courtesy of Axsun

Royal Philips ($PHG) is taking care of a bit of housekeeping remaining from its $1.2 billion acquisition of image-guided catheter player Volcano that closed in February. It has sold optical technology provider Axsun Technologies, which had been part of Volcano, to venture capital firm Anzu Partners for an undisclosed sum.

Volcano acquired Axsun in January 2009 for $21.5 million. The company, founded in 1998, offers optical coherence tomography and near-infrared MEMS-based optical engines for medical imaging, industrial analyzer and telecom use. Even prior to its acquisition by Philips, Volcano had said it planned to divest the Axsun business.

In addition, Anzu received an undisclosed "significant infusion" of cash to advance its products. And an unidentified "affiliate" of the firm has purchased the 65,000-square-foot building that houses Axsun operations that's in Billerica, MA.

The current VP/GM of Axsun, Jonathan Hartmann, will become the new company's CEO, while CSO and VP of Engineering Peter Whitney and CFO Chris Baldwin will continue in each of those posts.

"We will use this new investment and independence to develop the next generation of optical engines for use in medical, industrial, and telecom applications," said Hartmann in a statement.

The acquisition by Anzu is a bit of a departure for the firm, which is focused on industrial and consumer companies. But the investor did specify that photonics are of particular interest.

"Over the past year, Axsun Technologies has focused on significant manufacturing process improvements, and the new investment will enable ground-breaking product enhancements," said Whitney. "As an independent company, Axsun will continue its leadership position in producing high-performance, compact optical engines for medical imaging, industrial analyzers, and telecommunications."

- here is the announcement