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Arlington Capital Partners sells Zemax

Arlington Capital Partners has sold Zemax Software Holdings, a provider of optical and illumination design software, to EQT Mid Market US GP. The Company will continue to be led by current CEO Mark Nicholson.

Founded in 1990, Zemax enables its customers to more efficiently and accurately design optical components through its physics-based optimisation and design software. Zemax helps companies achieve a qualified design more efficiently by streamlining the workflow and communication between optical and mechanical engineers.
Zemax Virtual Prototyping tools include OpticStudio, the industry-leading optical design software, and LensMechanix, a unique application that allows mechanical engineers to package optical systems in CAD software. Zemax allows its customers to improve optical performance, get to market faster and reduce both production and development costs. Zemax’s software is used to develop a range of products including space telescopes, augmented reality glasses, LIDAR in autonomous vehicles, smartphone cameras and biomedical imaging devices. Zemax is headquartered in Kirkland, Washington with over 80 employees and operations in the US, Europe and Asia.
Michael Lustbader, a Managing Partner at Arlington Capital, says: “We have been thrilled to partner with the Zemax management team over the last four years. The Company has done a tremendous job capitalising on its market leadership with OpticStudio to drive rapid organic growth across both new and existing geographies. During our ownership, Zemax has also developed and introduced complementary products such as LensMechanix that further expand the user base and provide innovative solutions that better serve its customers. We are excited to watch Zemax’s continued success under EQT’s tenure.”
Brendan Scollans, Partner at EQT Partners and Investment Advisor to EQT, says: “Zemax aligns perfectly with EQT’s focus of investing in market leaders in attractive and growing niche markets globally. EQT’s software expertise and international presence will help Zemax further expand its product offering, both organically and through acquisitions, to best serve its global customer base. We are excited to partner with the talented Zemax management team to support the next phase of growth.”
“Our partnership with Arlington has been a tremendous success. During their ownership, Zemax made substantial investments and demonstrated consistent strong organic growth,” says Mark Nicholson, CEO of Zemax. “As we enter our next stage of growth, we are pleased to partner with EQT as we continue to expand our product offerings and deepen our customer focus. EQT’s relationships, global presence and investment philosophy position Zemax to enter into a new phase of investment and growth that stays true to our vision to offer software based on a strong physics architecture, uphold a culture of excellence and innovation and drive customer success.”
Spurrier Capital Partners served as financial advisor to Zemax. Sheppard Mullin served as legal advisor to Zemax. Kirkland & Ellis LLP served as legal advisor to EQT. Shea & Company served as financial advisor to EQT. Ares Capital Corporation and Carlyle Global Credit provided debt financing in support of the transaction.
Financial terms have not been disclosed.

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