We are an industrial holding company with steady growth, which originates from acquisitions as well as the organic development of our group companies.
Entrepreneurs with long track record
We started building VTC from the mid 1990ies. At that time we were one of the first private equity firms in Germany, investing external capital mostly from high net worth individuals. Since 2004 we are able to live our dream: by investing our own equity, we became entrepreneurs ourselves. This allows us to take a long view concerning VTC and its group companies. Unlike a private equity investor, we have no exit focus.
Holding with added value
As sparring partners for the top management of our group companies we provide support in strategic discussions or selected projects. Our group companies are fully independent of each other, and the holding does not provide any central functions for the group. We emphasize the importance of flexibility and quick decision making.
Our strong experience and solid financial background (our holding is fully equity financed) makes us a trusted partner for corporates or entrepreneurs in divestment processes. Due to our lean structure we can take quick decisions and offer flexible deal structures. Being entrepreneurs ourselves helps us to understand the motivation and emotions of private sellers.
Strong corporate values
Our team has grown organically over the last 20 years. The resulting company culture is based on strong values, which we carry into our group companies. We rate the long term impact of our actions higher than short term financial results. An investment in a company is also a commitment from our side towards customers, employees and financing partners.
Christian is with VTC since 2016. He supports transaction processes as well as the development of group companies (e.g. in add on acquisitions).
From 2011 to 2015 he worked for Commerzbank M&A in Frankfurt and London and William Blair in their Frankfurt, London and Chicago offices. He was involved in numerous buy side and sell side mandates and advised clients on strategic portfolio optimizations. His industry focus was on industrials, health care and services.
Christian holds a bachelor degree in business (finance and accounting) from Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich and a master’s degree in finance from St. Andrews University in Scotland.
Christian König joined the VTC team in 2019. He works on current transactions and is screening potential investment opportunities and markets.
During his time at university he already gained first experience in the investment industry, amongst others with Maxburg Capital Partners, Waterland Private Equity and the Leveraged Finance Division of UniCredit Bank.
Christian holds Bachelor degrees in Economics and Business Administration as well as a Master of Science degree with focus on Finance & Accounting from Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich.
In the early years of VTC Jürgen worked on a number of industry roll ups and held management positions in portfolio companies. Since then he has responsible for many transactions and gained broad experience in the industrials and renewables space. Jürgen is in charge of Baettr Holding GmbH.
Before his time at university he worked as a trainee for HypoVereinsbank AG in Munich. He is an active shareholder in the Leuze family business.
Jürgen holds a business degree (lic.oec.HSG) from the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland.
Stefan has overseen a number of VTC‘s transactions in Germany and Switzerland, mostly in the mechanical and plant engineering businesses. He is in charge of Sesotec GmbH and JK Group.
Before joining VTC Stefan was partner in a turnaround consulting firm where he also took on interim management positions. He started his career as a trainee at HypoVereinsbank AG and later worked for Bain & Company in Munich and London.
Stefan serves as a board member of the Leuze Group.
He has a business degree from Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich.
Julius joined VTC in 2015. He works on transactions as well as portfolio management tasks.
From 2011 to 2014 he worked for GCA Altium and was involved in numerous buy side and sell side mandates, mainly in consumer goods and retail. In addition he was able to gain in-depth capital markets know how.
Julius holds Bachelor and Master of Science in International Business degrees from Maastricht University, Netherlands.
Verena Ogilvy joined VTC in 2018. Verena is responsible for group reporting, taxes, treasury and financing.
From 2007 till 2018 she worked for EY in the assurance/audit department in Stuttgart, Melbourne and Munich. During this time she served a wide range of clients including medium-sized enterprises as well as DAX listed companies.
Verena holds a bachelor degree in business from the Cooperative State University Mannheim and a Master of Science in International Finance from the University of Applied Sciences HfWU Nuertingen-Geislingen. She holds the German Chartered Accountant and the German Tax Consultant degree.
During his time at VTC Richard was responsible for a number of transactions in the industrials, infrastructure and electronics space. He manages VTC’s interests in FRIWO AG. He is also in charge of public relations at VTC.
Before joining VTC Richard worked for Bain & Company as a project manager in the Munich and Stockholm offices. During his time at Bain he focused on strategy work and efficiency programs in the industrials and commodities sectors. Richard also spends some time on his forestry estate in Austria.
Richard is an Austrian citizen and holds a business degree from the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland and an MBA from the University of Chicago, USA.
Before co-founding VTC in 1992 Thomas had worked for IMM Industrie Management München, back then one of the first private equity firms in Germany.
During his time at VTC Thomas applied his long experience at numerous transactions. In the early years of VTC he initiated and implemented a number of industry roll-ups and took on executive positions in portfolio companies. Thomas co-founded one of the leading German private equity fund-of-funds and today is a member of the company’s supervisory board.
Thomas holds a PhD (Dr.rer.nat.) in physics from the Technische Universität Munich and an INSEAD MBA, France.
Since 2000 Ulrich has worked on numerous transactions at VTC. In addition he chaired strategic projects and add-on acquisitions at portfolio companies. He is responsible for deal sourcing at VTC and is the contact person for investment banks and M&A advisors.
Ulrich started his career at A.T. Kearney in Munich and Dusseldorf. There he focused on efficiency programs and strategy development in the consumer goods, retail and energy sectors, where he could apply the experiences from his family business.
Ulrich holds a business degree and a PhD in business from Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich.
Baettr is a leading component supplier for the wind industry. The company is specialized in the serial production of large cast products for on- and off-shore markets incl. CNC-machining, metal finishing as well as subassembly offerings according to customer specifications. The international footprint with three foundries, three machining and two surface treatment facilities in Europe and China is ideally positioned to serve its customers worldwide.
FRIWO AG is an internationally operating systems provider developing, producing and marketing high-performance, high-quality hard- and software solutions along the electrical drive train. FRIWO’s main market segments are e-mobility, household appliances and tools, medical equipment and industrial applications. Based on a global manufacturing and sourcing footprint, FRIWO is able to deliver leading edge technology at highly competitive prices.
JK Group is a worldwide leading manufacturer of devices for the tanning, fitness, and beauty industry. At the Company’s headquarter in Windhagen (Germany), JK develops and produces devices under the brand names “Ergoline”, “Beauty Angel”, “Sun Angel” and “Wellsystem”. The fields of application include cosmetic tanning, red light and near infrared applications for skin care as well as dry water massage.
Sesotec develops and manufactures machines and systems for the detection and separation of contaminants, for product inspection and for the sorting of material flows. Product sales primarily focus on the global food, plastics, pharmaceutical, wood, textile, and recycling industries. Sesotec’s global market leadership is based on a high competence in a wide range of technologies. The leading facility for design, development and manufacturing is located in Germany. Sesotec’s export quota amounts to over 50%.
We are constantly looking for new investments for further growth. Due to our lean decision making processes any new investment opportunity will be analyzed quickly by our team. We have earned a reputation for finding creative solutions suited for every new transaction. Since we invest our own money, we think long term and do not focus on exit strategies.
We are looking for companies which fulfill the following criteria:
We have no sector focus. In the past we have done transactions in manufacturing, services and wholesale.
Our group companies range from EUR 85m to EUR 220m in sales. Even with substantial growth potential investments should have revenues of at least EUR 10m.
We also look for add on acquisitions for our portfolio companies which can be smaller.
Investment amount and regional focus:
We are looking for majority stakes but will also consider a qualified minority. We invest equity tickets of up to EUR 50m per deal, in case of larger transactions we would work with a partner.
Our regional focus lies on Germany, and neighbouring countries.
In a time when personal contact and travel must be reduced to a minimum, essential businesses are forced to restructure the way they access production facilities. The coronavirus crisis had made it abundantly clear: innovative service solutions are of vital importance to ongoing plant availability.
To ensure that metal detectors, X-ray inspection devices, sorting and material analysis systems continue to function reliably, Sesotec offers remote support from its headquarters in Germany. Their services include the following:
Telephone support - Sesotec hotline
Many questions and problems can be addressed through a phone call. Sesotec offers free telephone support between 6 AM and 8 PM CET during the week, and between 8 AM and 5PM CET on the weekends.
Contact Sesotec service representatives for product inspection devices:
Errors in metal detectors, X-ray inspection devices, sorting and material analysis systems can frequently be corrected via remote access. Sesotec service technicians can access the software via Ethernet in order to troubleshoot, optimize, and set parameters. This data will then be processed in the Sesotec Service Center and sent to the customer as feedback.
Many Sesotec devices offer remote servicing functionality as standard. Any customer who wishes to confirm whether their Sesotec system has remote access capabilities can simply complete the contact form at this URL: https://www.sesotec.com/emea/en/lp/remote-support.
Remote support with augmented reality
Sesotec also offers video-based support using augmented reality technologies. Customers can download a free app to their PC, smartphone, or tablet and forward the access data to Sesotec. This way, Sesotec representatives can provide step-by-step support until the issue has been resolved.
Express service for spare parts
The Sesotec Service Center keeps a stockpile of all current circuit boards, as well as many older models. Spare parts can be shipped within 24 hours on weekdays. The boards are largely pre-programmed so that customers can simply "plug and play.” Sesotec representatives can give step-by-step guidance via telephone as the customer replaces the part.
Markus Grimm, Group Director of Service at Sesotec summarizes: "We currently provide up to five remote support sessions per day, accessing our customers' systems and solving many problems online without the need for an onsite visit. The advantages for our customers are obvious: high plant availability, process reliability, and productivity, as well as no travel costs. Furthermore, these benefits are universal, and not exclusive to times of crisis or unplanned downtime. In light of the current coronavirus situation, we are offering our remote support services to all our customers free of charge for the next six months.”
Medizintechnik in der Coronakrise: Produzieren mit höchster Priorität
Der Bedarf aus der Medizintechnik ist sprunghaft nach oben gegangen. Wir verzeichnen derzeit horrende Nachfragesteigerungen von nahezu all unseren bestehenden Kunden...
Medizintechnik in der Coronakrise: Produzieren mit höchster Priorität
„Der Bedarf aus der Medizintechnik ist sprunghaft nach oben gegangen. Wir verzeichnen derzeit horrende Nachfragesteigerungen von nahezu all unseren bestehenden Kunden, deren Applikationen dem Kampf gegen Corona zugeordnet werden können. Auch neue Kundenkontakte werden in dieser Zeit deutlich häufiger und wesentlich schneller geschmiedet als zuvor – ein mehr als eindeutiges Signal, wenn nicht gar ein Hilferuf der Branche.
Deutliche Bedarfserhöhungen erleben wir nicht nur bei den Geräten, die man aufgrund der täglichen Nachrichten im Zusammenhang mit COVID-19 im ersten Moment auf dem Schirm hat – etwa Beatmungsgeräte, Patientenmonitore oder Desinfektionslösungen – sondern auch in allen anderen, verwandten Bereichen. Seien es zusätzliche Krankenhausbetten für die eilends geschaffenen Quarantänestationen, benötigte Labortechnik zur Abstrichanalyse oder Infusions- und Ernährungspumpen für die Ernstfälle: Medizinische Netzteile, Ladegeräte und Batterien werden derzeit stärker und schneller benötigt, als wir uns zu erinnern vermögen. Vergleicht man die Auftragseingänge des ersten Quartals aus dem Medizinsektor mit denen des Vorjahres, sehen wir die Wachstumsrate stark in Richtung des dreistelligen Prozentbereichs klettern.
FRIWO ist insgesamt sehr gut gerüstet, die Medizintechnik im Kampf gegen die Pandemie bestmöglich unterstützen zu können.
Dank unseres weltweiten Fertigungs-Setups sind wir glücklicherweise in der Lage, flexibel auf derartige Zusatzbedarfe reagieren zu können. Neben unserem Produktionsstandort in Deutschland haben wir in den letzten Jahren in Vietnam nahe Ho-Chi-Minh-City eine Fertigungsstätte aufgebaut, welche uns auch innerhalb kürzester Zeit die Produktion hoher Volumina ermöglicht – ganz gleich ob vorhandenes Produkt eines Bestandskunden oder komplettes Neuprojekt. Mit dem schnellen Ramp-up von Produkten kennen wir uns darum bereits aus unseren anderen Kompetenzmärkten, etwa der Elektromobilität bestens aus. Zudem unterhalten wir seit vielen Jahren ein Netz an erfahrenen Produktionspartnern, welche uns im Notfall jederzeit unter die Armen greifen können.
Bezüglich der möglichen Versorgungsprobleme auf der Materialseite haben wir uns vor geraumer Zeit entschlossen, uns für die Zukunft möglichst unabhängig aufzustellen und ein hohes Maß an vertikaler Integration bertrieben. So fertigen wir heute in Vietnam nicht mehr nur unsere Endgeräte, sondern in mehreren Werken auch viele benötigte Komponenten selbst – etwa Wandler und Drosseln, Kabel und Leitungen oder Gehäuseteile.
Natürlich produzieren auch wir längst nicht alles in Eigenregie und sind auf eine funktionierende Supply Chain angewiesen, um die lebenswichtigen Zusatzbedarfe der Medizintechnik zu decken – beispielsweise im Bereich der aktiven Bauelemente. Als sich die aktuelle Krise in Ihren Grundzügen abzeichnete, haben wir uns daher gezielt mit Bauteilen bevorratet, großflächig auf Luftfrachten umgestellt und gemeinsam mit den Kunden die gezielte Freigabe von Alternativen für versorgungskritische Komponenten geprüft. Auf dieser Basis sehe wir uns heute insgesamt sehr gut gerüstet, die Medizintechnik im Kampf gegen die Pandemie bestmöglich unterstützen zu können.“
How better food safety technology can help minimise waste
From farm to factory to fork, nearly 1.3 billion tons and 1 trillion USD worth of food products slip through the cracks of the global food supply chain each year. According to studies by the United Nations, roughly a third of all food products end up discarded, constituting a tremendous waste of natural resources, labour and capital, and amounting to a major source of needless greenhouse gas emissions.
In a supply chain that grows more intricate with each passing year, the problem of global food waste is not attributable to any single player in the food production life cycle alone. Food waste happens at every stage of food production and consumption, and the volume of waste differs dramatically by region. In industrial nations, the largest volume of food is wasted at the hands of end-consumers. In developing nations, however, the FAO cites a lack of infrastructure to facilitate coordination between farmers, manufacturers and distributors as the most significant source of food waste.
Share of Food Waste in Germany by Value Chain Sector - 2015 (Source: bmel.de pg. 4)
In developed nations, nearly a fifth of food wastage happens during manufacturing and production. Beyond the environmental impact of food processing waste, there is a sizable financial incentive for manufacturers to reduce food waste within their facilities. In the face of narrowing profit margins and a rising pressure to ramp up productivity in order to feed a growing global population, reducing industrial food waste may be a necessity in order to remain competitive in a changing market.
Causes of food processing waste
There are many causes of industrial food waste, some of which are avoidable while others are virtually inevitable. In terms of preventable and recurring waste, inefficient working procedures and inadequate employee training are amongst the major drivers of wasted food in manufacturing environments. A study by researchers at Brunel University London and Ghent University found that roughly 11 per cent of all food processing waste was due to routine human errors. However irregular and monumental product losses can also occur in the face of unforeseen power outages, natural disasters or unplanned downtime due to equipment failure.
But paradoxically, food safety protocol is another major contributor to the problem of pre-consumer food waste. In order to ensure that no contaminated or otherwise defective products end up on consumers’ plates, global food safety standards are designed to diminish risk at every turn. This means that even the slightest detectable chance of contamination within a product results in its rejection from the production line.
The role of food safety technology in reducing pre-consumer food waste
While a zero-tolerance approach to food safety risks is crucial to protecting consumers from foodborne illness and injury, unoptimised inspection systems may be wasting a disproportionately high amount of food. Between traceability issues, product recalls and false rejects, inferior food safety technology may be contributing to food waste problems.
Innovative contaminant detection and inspection technology makes it possible to both maintain compliance with rigorous food safety standards and minimise the volume of food discarded during manufacturing. Here is how improving the food safety devices within a manufacturing facility can help reduce food processing waste:
1. Early detection of contaminated products
End-of-line product inspection is a necessary feature in any food manufacturing facility, ensuring that packaged products are safe to continue their journey along the supply chain. But relying on end-of-line inspection alone to control for physical contamination in food products has several downsides. One of these downsides is a higher volume of food waste.
Food products may become physically contaminated at any juncture in the production line. It may even be the case that raw ingredients arrive at the facilities already harbouring physical contaminants. If there are no controls in place to screen for contaminants until the final stage of production, a contaminated food product may have made a complete journey through the manufacturing process before being identified and rejected. In this scenario, it is not just the contaminated product that is being thrown out, but also all the additional ingredients, energy and resources that went into its processing up until that point.
Product purity is best ensured when food manufacturing facilities implement a sophisticated, multi-tiered food safety concept in which food products are inspected at several critical control points along the production line. By integrating advanced detection technology at strategic processing junctures, such as at raw-ingredient intake and after mechanical processes like pulverisation, physical contaminants can be identified and rejected at the source. This not only provides more precise data in regards to tracing contaminants, but it also saves companies from investing resources into products that will only be rejected later and prevents foreign bodies from dispersing and contaminating further product batches.
2. Avoiding the waste associated with food recalls
Food product recalls are on the rise worldwide. In the United Kingdom alone, food recalls across all product categories increased 40 per cent over the course of the 2018 calendar year. An unfortunate but often necessary measure, food recalls are imperative in order to prevent illness and injury. But in terms of food waste, the tradeoff is enormous.
When food products are recalled, it is not just the contaminated products that get thrown out. Rightly preferring to err on the side of caution, companies and consumers toss out a tremendous of volume of food that may actually be safe to consume. A single contaminated specimen entering the market could theoretically lead to the waste of thousands of pounds of perfectly edible food products.
No food manufacturer wants to recall a food product. Beyond the lost resources and high costs of pulling products from store shelves, recalls wreak serious damage to a company’s reputation. Reliable food safety technology is key to preventing consumer injury, food wastage and the PR crisis that follows in the wake of a product recall.
3. Reducing false rejects caused by product effect
Amongst the most complex challenges in metal contaminant detection is the phenomenon of “product effect.” Some common food products such as fresh fish, meat and dairy have a moisture- and salt-content that creates the right conditions for the product to have a certain electrical conductivity. This can lead these perfectly safe products to trigger the rejection mechanism on industrial metal detectors meant to control for the presence of foreign bodies in food.
International food safety standards demand that any food rejected by a contaminant detector is discarded, even if a false reject due product effect is suspected. A metal detector that is not properly configured to adjust for product effect can lead to a high rate of false rejects, resulting in unnecessary food waste. Industrial metal detectors used to inspect foods with high moisture and saline levels must be equipped with intelligent software that is flexible enough to accommodate such adjustments.
The most advanced industrial metal detectors use artificial intelligence in order to differentiate between metal contaminants and the product effect generated by meat, fish and dairy products. These innovative, AI-integrated metal detectors can both reduce the food waste associated with false rejects and improve the overall accuracy of product inspection.
In other cases, it may be necessary to employ x-ray inspection technology instead of metal detectors in order to prevent excessive food waste due to false rejects.
In order to meaningfully address the problem of food waste, players at every stage in the food product life cycle must take action to reduce waste within their sphere of influence. In food manufacturing, the financial and ethical imperatives to minimise industrial food waste may at times conflict with critical food safety measures. Advanced food safety technology can help eliminate the friction between these two important causes. In addition to diminishing the threats that physical contaminants can pose to consumer health, the improved accuracy of a robust inspection system can prevent large amounts of food and valuable resources from ending up in the bin.
For more than 40 years, Sesotec has been a market leader in the field of contaminant removal and sorting technology. We develop both standardised and customised food safety solutions for food and beverage manufacturers around the world.
eBook: Driving Impact – Safe food and saving food
The world population stood at 7.71 billion in 2019. That figure is set to reach 9.74 billion in 2050. In order to secure the global supply of food in the future, waste must be reduced and productivity increased. In our eBook we show you, amongst others, what challenges the development of the world's population and especially food safety pose for manufacturers and processors and how they can still be mastered.