About us

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.

Professional acquirer

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.

Our Values

VTC in Numbers

EUR > 500 m
turnover
> 4.500
employees
EUR 300 m
equity
up to EUR 50 m
equity per transaction

The VTC Team

Natalia Chaban
Natalia Chaban
Finance Director

Natalia Chaban joined VTC in July 2021 as Finance Director. She is responsible for finance, taxes, treasury and consolidated financial statements at holding level.

Previously, Natalia Chaban worked for many years in auditing and audit-related consulting at one of the Big Four companies as well as at large medium-sized auditing and tax consulting firms, most recently as an associate partner. During this time, she worked as an auditor/tax consultant for both medium-sized family-run companies as well as capital market-oriented corporates.

Natalia Chaban holds a degree in economics from the University of Ulm and successfully passed both professional examinations as German Certified Public Accountant and tax consultant.

Sara Grauenhorst
Sara Grauenhorst
HR Manager

Sara joined VTC in 2021. She is responsible for Human Resource Management and is involved in the support of the group companies.

Before joining VTC Sara worked for Eversheds Sutherland in Munich, where she was responsible for all HR issues of the Practice Groups Litigation & Dispute Management and Employment Law. During this time she supported the firm in the context of various restructurings in all HR-related topics.

Sara holds a Bachelor of Laws degree with a focus on Human Resource Management from the FOM Hochschule für Oekonomie & Management, Munich.

Philipp Härtel
Philipp Härtel
Investment Analyst

Philipp Härtel is with VTC since 2020. He works on current transactions and is screening potential investment opportunities and markets.

Before joining VTC he worked in the M&A team of Harris Williams in Frankfurt, where he was involved in buyside and sell side mandates. Moreover, he gained previous experience at Gimv, KPMG and ING Corporate Finance.

Philipp holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Econometrics and Operations Research from Maastricht University as well as a Master of Science degree with focus on Corporate Finance from the Rotterdam School of Management.

Jürgen Leuze
Jürgen Leuze
Managing Partner

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 Leuze
Stefan Leuze
Managing Partner

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 Mährlein
Julius Mährlein
Investment Director

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.

Richard G. Ramsauer
Richard G. Ramsauer
Managing Partner

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.

 

Dr. Thomas Robl
Dr. Thomas Robl
Managing Partner

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.

Dr. Ulrich Wolfrum
Dr. Ulrich Wolfrum
Partner

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.

Career

Currently we offer the following vacancies:

Investment Associate (m/w/d)

Majority shareholdings

Baettr Holding GmbH

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, two machining and two surface treatment facilities in Europe and Asia is ideally positioned to serve its customers worldwide.

Headquarter:
Stade (Germany)
Sales (EUR m):
240
Employees:
1.100
FRIWO AG

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.

Headquarter:
Ostbevern (Germany)
Sales (EUR m):
100
Employees:
>2.500
JK-Gruppe GmbH

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.

Headquarter:
Windhagen (Germany)
Sales (EUR m):
85
Employees:
350
Sesotec GmbH

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%.

Headquarter:
Schönberg (Germany)
Sales (EUR m):
75
Employees:
500

Acquisitions

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:

Sector:
We have no sector focus. In the past we have done transactions in manufacturing, services and wholesale.

Size:
Our group companies range from EUR 75m to EUR 240m 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.

News

Current factors influencing the recycling circuit

Current factors influencing the recycling circuit

The call for a functioning circular economy is growing louder – both in society as well as in politics...

Read more
Current factors influencing the recycling circuit

Current factors influencing the recycling circuit

In March 2020, EU Environmental Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevičius presented a new circular economy action plan. As one of the most important components of the European Green Deal, it includes measures that encompass the entire lifecycle of products. In the future, for example, new products are to be designed with circular economy explicitly in mind. The overall goal: improving product durability and the capacity to upgrade, repair, and reuse products and to increase the percentage of recycled materials in new products. By 2030, all packaging produced in the EU is to be 100% reusable or recyclable.

A significant shift in favor of sustainability can currently be observed in society as well. According to a survey of 2,500 consumers in Germany by the EY (Ernst & Young) auditing and consulting company at the start of 2020, 68 percent of Germans would generally be willing to pay more for a product that demonstrably does no harm to the environment.

This growing awareness among politicians and in society of the need for the recycling of raw materials is affirmed in the recycling industry. Specifically in the recycling of plastics, the VDMA Professional Association of Waste and Recycling Technology sees an enormous amount of potential. For instance, the state-of-the-art recycling technology of today is already capable of recycling a large portion of the 14.4 million metric tons of plastics processed in Germany, with the exploitation of one metric ton of recycled plastic resulting in savings of between 1.45 and 3.2 metric tons of CO2-equivalent. There is just one problem: There is no sales market for recyclates.

Recycled vs. virgin material – a question of profitability

ue to the extremely low demand for crude oil at the end of 2020, the price of new plastics has plummeted. As a result, packaging manufacturers are increasingly turning to virgin plastics and using less recycled material. This effect is being exacerbated by the higher prices of recyclates, which are often due to elaborate recycling processes. In order to produce recyclates profitably and offer competitive prices, recyclers need to rely on state-of-the-art technology. In addition, the profitability of the recyclates is directly dependent on the input material. The higher the quality and the greater the degree of homogeneity the latter has, the more economical the recycling process will be. And only if the quality and price of the recycled material is comparable to that of virgin material will manufacturers decide to use it.

Dr. Sarah Brückner, Managing Director at the VDMA Professional Association of Waste and Recycling Technology, states the following in no uncertain terms: “A market for secondary raw materials and thus a successful circular economy cannot be established long-term without the right legal framework."

EU plastic tax – the solution?

The plastic tax that was passed in July 2020 is regarded by the EU as being a potential solution for saving the recycled material markets. Since January 1, 2021, this tax in the amount of 80 cents per kilogram has been levied on all non-recyclable plastic waste, and it is intended as an incentive for EU States to put less “dirty” plastic in circulation. Above all, this involves a big adjustment for Germany, which – according to the “Plastic Atlas” of the Heinrich Böll Foundation – is considered the largest producer and processor of plastic in Europe.

One problem with the plastic tax: The tax on plastic waste mainly puts a burden on the taxpayers, not on the packaging industry that is putting the plastic into circulation. Viola Wohlgemuth, responsible for the topics of consumption, textiles, and plastic at Greenpeace, is critical when it comes to the tax. According to a Spiegel article, she is of the opinion that – to develop a genuine steering effect – the plastic tax would already have to be levied on the product packaging as soon as it enters the market.

 

The percentage of recycled materials needs to be increased. But how?

The reliable availability of recyclates on the market could reduce the demand for primary raw materials. To achieve this, however, recyclers, manufacturers, and consumers need to work hand in hand.

Optimizing waste collection and recycling

Waste collection systems represent a significant first step in each waste management process and play a central role in its overall success. There are a large number of systems for collecting household waste in Europe. Today, the explicit collection of packaging and other household goods primarily consisting of plastic, aluminum, paper, and glass offers an attractive solution for maximizing the quantity of recycled waste. For packaging waste to actually be recycled, however, it is also necessary for the consumers to cooperate, not just the manufacturers. The basic prerequisite for waste preparation is homogeneous separation. Packaging waste can only be recycled if it is disposed of properly.

 

 

And yet there is another problem as well: If packaging consists of multiple material layers or a combination of materials that cannot be separated after use, the recycling process becomes much more time-consuming and costly. Some packaging is made of firmly adhered combinations of different kinds of plastic. In this case, they are generally put with one material category in the sorting system, thereby reducing the degree of homogeneity.

The increasing demand for recyclates – mainly recycled PET – to use in plastic packaging also harbors the risk that not enough secondary raw materials of sufficient quality will be available in the future. It has long been the case in Germany that beverage bottles are made of nearly 30 percent recycled PET. However, IK Industrievereinigung Kunststoffverpackungen e.V. believes the PET beverage bottle market is at risk. “Only a few countries in Europe already have a deposit system for PET beverage bottles as effective as the one in Germany,” says Dr. Isabell Schmidt, the Managing Director of Circular Economy at IK.

To ensure that the industry has a sufficient supply of raw recycling materials, the separate collection and recycling of PET beverage bottles throughout the EU will need to be massively expanded. Otherwise, there could be a ban on the marketing of PET beverage bottles. To avoid this, IK is pushing for the development of a European market observatory that will primarily have the responsibility of keeping an eye on the availability of recycled PET materials in food contact quality. If recycled raw materials cease to be available at acceptable prices in the required quantities and qualities, then the EU requirements for the use of recycled materials should be suspended, says Dr. Schmidt.

Challenge for manufacturers and processors of plastic: high-quality recyclates thanks to innovative technologies

The most important prerequisite for manufacturing high-quality secondary raw materials is homogeneous material.

Recyclates purchased from different manufacturers frequently contains contaminants. This can be due to many factors. For example, if the various materials are not properly identified, separated, and sorted during the plastic recycling process, they will be mixed up in the recycled material in small pieces. If such contaminated recycled materials are processed further, this will adversely affect the product quality, resulting in complaints. Another possible reason for a complaint may be color deviations due to off-colors in the recycled material. The most frequent contaminants in recyclates are metal particles. If they remain undetected, they may cause machine damage and reduce production efficiency considerably.

The solution to this involves sensor-based material analysis systems and sorting devices that can sort precisely by shape, color, and material type. In addition, metal separators can identify and filter out even the finest metal particles in the recycled material. This makes it possible to obtain recycled material with purities of up to 99 percent from substandard starting material.

 Sesotec supports all industrial areas of the plastics cycle with innovative solutions - 
for more profitability, quality and productivity.
Discover our Circular Economy Systems.

Design for recycling

Politicians react to this challenge with ambitious requirements in legislation, such as in packaging law. When designing products in the future, manufacturers will have a new challenge with regard to holistic and sustainable product development. According to EU Commission requirements, all future products must be designed and produced in such a way that the packaging either is reusable and recyclable after use or consists of renewable raw materials.

And this is where the catch 22 occurs: Recyclable products can only be manufactured if there are sufficient secondary raw materials. And manufacturers will only be able to operate profitably if sufficient secondary raw materials are available at affordable prices.

 

 

Conclusion

Both society as well as politicians have an ardent desire to close the circle. While the EU has pointed in the basic direction and passed initial laws, a legally mature concept for actually achieving the ambitious climate protection goals and completely closing the circle has yet to emerge. But one thing is certain: Until this is the case, each stakeholder – from the manufacturer and processor to the consumer and recycling companies – must have a willingness to contribute proactively to the cause. However, such willingness will only be prevalent if all involved possess a certain level of planning security. Only then will they be in a position to work profitably.

 


New E-Book: The Circular Economy - Challenges and opportunities for Recyclers and plastics processors

In this comprehensive e-book, you will gain insight into the most important factors of the Circular Economy. In particular, we look at the goal of creating a circular economy that must be profitable not only for people and the environment but also for recyclers, plastics manufacturers and processors.