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 30 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.
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.
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.
Andreas Joha joined the investment team of VTC in 2021. He works on transactions as well as portfolio management tasks and screens potential investment opportunities and markets.
Previously, he spent several years at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Munich advising private equity clients on buyside and sellside transactions.
Andreas received a Bachelor of Science in Economics and Business Administration with a major in Finance & Accounting from Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany, and a Master of Science in Finance with a major in Corporate Finance from Stockholm School of Economics, Sweden.
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.
Richard G. Ramsauer
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
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.
Ludovic Taillandier joined the investment team of VTC in 2023. He works on current transactions and is screening potential investment opportunities and markets.
Before joining VTC he spent several years working in the private equity sector at Crédit Mutuel Equity in Frankfurt.
Ludovic holds a Bachelor of Science degree in International Business, as well as a Master of Science degree with focus on Strategy & Innovation from Maastricht University, Netherlands.
Dr. Ulrich Wolfrum
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, two machining and two surface treatment facilities in Europe and Asia 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%.
United Souvenirs GmbH is a leading retailer and wholesaler of souvenirs and gift items in Europe. With its wholesale activities, the company is present throughout Europe. In addition, United Souvenirs operates over 60 stores in tourist hot spots in Austria, Germany, Spain, Poland and Slovakia.
Sales (EUR m):
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 45m 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.
The plastic waste produced by households has exploded since the start of the coronavirus and the demand for recyclate is declining. Experts are calling on the business sector and the government to take action that the circular economy still becomes a reality despite the crisis.
From the compulsory wearing of masks and the use disposable cups to working from home, the coronavirus pandemic has turned life upside down. The effects can also be seen in our rubbish bins. Deutsche Gesellschaft für Abfallwirtschaft, Germany’s association for waste management, expects the volume of household waste to increase by 2.26 million tonnes in 2020, with a large portion consisting of plastics. Reports by Der Grüne Punkt, a leading German recycling company, have shown that the amount of plastic waste in recycling bins has increased by 10% in recent months alone.
Why is that? There are currently millions of people working from home, buying food that comes in small packaging and ordering products online, which in turn are packed in plastic. Add to this the fact that fast food businesses and restaurants often hand out disposable cutlery to their customers to ensure hygiene standards are met. Hospital and nursing home staff need more protective clothing these days, much of which is made of plastic. Following their use, gowns, gloves and masks end up in the bin.
This poses a challenge not just for the environment, but also for the recycling industry. While the mountains of waste keep growing, the number of companies purchasing recyclates is declining. Even higher quality products are not selling due to the price of oil, which has plummeted on account of the economic downturn triggered by the coronavirus. Crude oil is the most important ingredient in the production of plastic, and the low prices make new plastic the cheaper alternative. As a result, more and more companies are foregoing recyclates for new plastics.
The recycling industry faces a setback
These developments mean lower turnover and shrinking profitability for the recycling industry. The plastics recycling industry as a whole faces the threat of a setback, even though consumer sentiment points the other way. According to surveys by the market research institute GfK, consumers regard plastic waste as the biggest problem for their environment, despite the coronavirus and its effects. They expect future solutions that will favour a sustainable economy.
The solutions have been available for quite some time. An efficient material cycle is technically achievable with current means. Used plastic from household recycling bins can be reprocessed to such a high standard that even the strict requirements for the use of recyclates in cosmetics packaging are met.
The effects of the pandemic could destroy everything that has been achieved to date in establishing a plastics cycle. As the amount of household waste continues to increase, so too does the urgency to rethink the way waste is handled. The need for action is obvious. Even before coronavirus, most plastic packaging waste in Germany was incinerated, meaning that there is room for improvement as far as the recycling rate is concerned. A mere 16% of the plastic waste generated in the final stage of consumption is actually processed into recyclate to be reused.
Bernhard Bauske, an expert from the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), demands that the burden should not be shifted solely to the consumer – industry and lawmakers must also play a part: “Especially now in a time of crisis, we need a massive shift in direction so as to open up a future that encompasses more resource protection and a circular economy.” Stricter regulations are needed to ensure that more packaging can be recycled, he says. In addition, the German government must promote reusable systems in food services and online retail trade. Germany is one of Europe’s leading producers of waste. In 2017, residents of the country generated 226.5 kilograms of packaging waste per capita, with the EU average standing at 173 kilograms.
Is the circular economy about to collapse?
Der Grüne Punkt, one of Germany’s market leaders for dual systems, sees major problems ahead for the recycling industry in view of the sluggish progress and warns of a collapse. “The extremely low price of oil and the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic constitute a massive threat to all successes and efforts for recycling plastic and retaining it in the circular economy,” says Michael Wiener, CEO of Der Grüne Punkt.
He talks of a market failure at the cost of the environment. Recycled plastic saves up to 50% of the greenhouse gas emissions generated by new plastic. Werner demands that politicians finally create a breakthrough in the circular economy for plastic. In his opinion, companies at risk due to the coronavirus pandemic need to be supported. He recommends abolishing the competitive advantage that new plastics have over recycled plastics.
The age-old problems remain despite coronavirus
There is a risk that politicians and the wider public will focus only on coronavirus and lose sight of the progress made with the circular economy, despite its immense importance for the future of our society due to the integral role it plays in ensuring environmental protection and sustainability.
“Industrial companies have to rethink their approach,” says Michael Perl, Group Director Sorting Recycling at Sesotec. “They should continue to work in profit-oriented fashion while also operating with foresight.” Although coronavirus has brought with it new, serious risks and challenges, the existing problems have not disappeared. “In the long run, climate change and the circular economy remain prominent concerns for humanity and must be actively addressed,” Perl adds.
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