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 effective is your foreign material control programme?
Foreign material control programmes constitute a crucial pillar of food safety in manufacturing and processing businesses. But even beyond protecting consumer health and safety, robust foreign material controls ....
How effective is your foreign material control programme?
What is a foreign material control programme? Why is it important?
A foreign material control programme is a procedure implemented to prevent, detect and investigate instances of physical contamination in any facility that processes or manufactures food.
As the food industry becomes increasingly globalised with each passing year, supply chains become more complex. This expansive global network of agriculture, processing, production, transport and consumption is necessary to feed the growing world population, but the continuous expansion of the food supply chain also harbours an increased risk of physical contamination. As food products pass through multiple facilities, undergo a myriad of processing stages are handled by multiple people, there are more opportunities for foreign objects to contaminate the foods. A foreign material control programme is a means of mitigating the risk that physical contaminants pose to consumers, as well as to production processes and company reputation
The global interdependencies of the food industry are complex: whether in production, logistics or sales.
The prevention and early detection of foreign material contaminants is also important as a means of improving the environmental sustainability of the entire food supply chain. By immediately eliminating contaminated foods from the production cycle, no excess resources are spent in processing or transporting them further. Additionally, undetected contaminants may proliferate and contaminate an even higher volume of food as they move through the production cycle. For these reasons, foreign material control programmes play an supporting role in reducing industrial food waste.
Food safety certification and foreign material control programmes
All internationally recognised food safety standards are based upon HACCP – a methodology in which potential sources of food safety hazards are identified and assessed in order to establish a procedure for proactively controlling for and reducing risk. Because foreign materials are one of the most common types of contaminants, food safety audits from certifying organisations invariably involve assessing the protocol by which a facility prevents, detects and investigates instances of physical contamination.
A robust foreign material control programme is thus a requirement for food safety certification according to DIN EN ISO 22000, IFS, BRCGS, SQF, FSSC 22000 and more. Though the exact requirements for HACCP-based control measures differ between these standards, each stipulates that methods for preventing and detecting physical contaminants must be validated and verified in order to ensure efficacy.
Here are some of the requirements regarding HACCP-based foreign material controls from internationally recognised food safety standards:
BRCGS – Foreign material hazards are considered during the hazard analysis (2.7.2) and documented risk assessment (188.8.131.52), as well as during assessment of the equipment maintenance programme (4.7.2) and cleaning protocols (4.11.3). The BRCGS Standard also includes an entire subchapter outlining the effective use of foreign body detection and removal equipment (4.10).
IFS – Foreign body management is outlined in section 4.12 and is considered a “knock-out” requirement for which non-fulfilment results in non-certification. In the IFS Foreign Body Management guideline, foreign body management is regarded as “directly related” to six distinct IFS food requirements: quality and food safety management, resource management, food defence, senior management responsibility, planning and production process, as well as ongoing measurements, analyses and improvements.
Methods for detecting physical contaminants in food
In addition to protocol and technologies designed to prevent contamination, an HACCP-based foreign material control programme must also include methods for detecting physical contaminants in food products. Contaminant detection equipment can serve as a critical control point in food processing facilities. The three most common types of contaminant detection equipment used in the food industry are:
Food safety metal detectors and separators – Metal detectors are used to identify both ferrous and non-ferrous metals in food products and reliably reject them from the process flow. They reduce the risk of contamination due to equipment wear and other causes. For products that have a high conductivity or are subject to the so-called "product effect", however, conventional metal detectors often prove inadequate. Metal detectors equipped with artificial intelligence offers even better protection under these circumstances.
X-ray detection equipment – X-ray inspection machines for food are capable of detecting any foreign material whose density is higher than the food products, including bone fragments, metals, glass, plastic and more.
Magnet separators – Magnet systems may be fitted along the production line as a means of capturing ferrous metal particles in material flows.
Most foreign material detection technologies are outfitted with a product ejection system that can reliably isolate the contaminated product from the process flow.
Furthermore, advanced contaminant detection technology is equipped with software that generates and stores data about the batches it inspects and all instances of contamination. These capabilities facilitate traceability and detailed record-keeping, both of which are requirements for verifying the efficacy of a foreign material control programme.
According to major food standards, detection equipment must also undergo regular maintenance and calibration checks to ensure reliable performance.
Discover the benefits of Artificial Intelligence in metal detection.
The benefits of an effective foreign material control programme
A robust foreign material control programme is essential to ensure consumer health and safety. But even beyond the ethical imperative of food safety, effective foreign material controls can reap a number of benefits for food industry businesses.
Achieve certifications that grant access to lucrative distribution channels –The implementation of a validated foreign material control programme is necessary to become certified with internationally recognised standards such as IFS and BRCGS. This class of third-party food safety certification is increasingly becoming a prerequisite of doing business with major producers, distributors and retailers both abroad and domestically. Without the right foreign object controls in place to achieve compliance, food companies may be shut out from the most lucrative markets or lose business opportunities to better-prepared competitors.
Higher productivity – Implementing state-of-the-art contaminant detection technology can dramatically reduce the time and resources spent performing manual inspections, taking samples and record-keeping. Detection equipment that works quickly, accurately and reliably can secure your process without much added time or overhead.
Minimises costs – The ability to reliably detect the presence of foreign materials early in the production process can spare a business the costs associated with a lengthy investigation into the source of the contamination. Furthermore, undetected foreign materials may go on to damage processing machinery and proliferate via cross contamination, resulting in expensive repairs and an even larger volume of wasted food.
Reduces risk of recall – Failure to implement an effective foreign material control programme may result in contaminated food products making their way to grocery store shelves and consumer plates. With an average price tag of $10 million USD in direct, immediately measurable costs alone, the expenses associated with a product recall can threaten the economic viability of a food industry business and cause immeasurable reputational damage. Furthermore, recalls are hugely disruptive to operations and often result in a tremendous volume of wasted food.
Conclusions: foreign material controls protect consumers and your brand
All companies in the food industry should exhibit a sincere commitment to consumer health and safety. Upholding this commitment requires food industry businesses to take seriously the implementation and execution of validated food safety processes, including foreign material controls. But an effective foreign material control programme can do more for a company than simply prevent a public relations crisis. Technology and procedure combine to reduce contamination risk, costs and food waste, as well as to improve a company’s standing in the global food industry.
How artificial intelligence contributes to sustainable and profitable food processing
Despite the breadth of technology available for foreign object detection, certain types of food products remain difficult to inspect via conventional methods. The reason for this is that some foods have high levels of product effect, which can interfere with metal detection. Often the sensitivity of a metal detector is increased to compensate for product effect. This can however lead to a higher frequency of false rejects, thereby increasing product loss and food waste.
This white paper examines the phenomenon of product effect, the problems it can cause, and why artificial intelligence offers an innovative and promising solution.