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.
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.