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 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.

Our Values

VTC in Numbers

EUR 700 m
> 4.500
EUR 300 m
up to EUR 50 m
equity per transaction

The VTC Team

Susanne Fehre
Susanne Fehre

Susanne Fehre has been part of the VTC team since 2023. She supports the management as well as the Wertcontor team as an assistant in all administrative and commercial matters.

Ms. Fehre previously worked as an assistant to the board of directors of a medium-sized family business in Munich. She gained further experience at a subsidiary of Unicredit, for which she worked as an executive assistant for more than ten years. Ms. Fehre has an education as a nurse.

Mira Has
Mira Has

Mira Has has been part of the VTC team since 2024. She supports the management as well as the investment team in administrative and commercial matters.
Previously, she worked as an executive assistant at a family office with focus on the real estate sector. She gained further experience as a team assistant and sales support at an expanding German investment company. Mira Has has an education as office communications clerk.

Philipp Härtel
Philipp Härtel
Investment Manager

Philipp Härtel is with VTC since 2020. He works on transactions as well as portfolio management tasks and screens 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, Netherlands as well as a Master of Science degree with focus on Corporate Finance from the Rotterdam School of Management, Netherlands.

Andreas Joha
Andreas Joha
Investment Manager

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.

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

Julius joined VTC in 2015. He works on transactions as well as on portfolio management.

Prior to VTC he worked for GCA Altium and was involved in numerous buy side and sell side mandates, mainly in consumer goods and retail.

Julius holds Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in International Business from Maastricht University, Netherlands.

Richard Ramsauer
Richard 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.

Magdalena Simonji-Elias
Magdalena Simonji-Elias
Finance Director

Magdalena Simonji-Elias joined VTC in April 2024 as Finance Director. She is responsible for finance, taxes, treasury and consolidated financial statements at holding level.

Previously, Magdalena Simonji-Elias worked for many years in auditing at one of the Big Four companies. She was responsible for the audit financial statements of listed companies as well as of the large medium-sized companies.

Magdalena Simonji-Elias holds a degree in business and economics from the University of Hohenheim and successfully passed both professional examinations as German Certified Public Accountant and tax consultant.

Nicole Weihrauch
Nicole Weihrauch

Nicole Weihrauch has been working for VTC as an assistant since 2023. She supports the management and the investment team in divers administrative and commercial matters.

Prior to VTC, she worked for a renowned Private Equity company as assistant. She gained further experience in the international business department of a leading internet platform as well as in various departments of Dresdner Bank.

Nicole completed an apprenticeship as bank clerk and has a business degree from Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich.

Dr. Ulrich Wolfrum
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.

Ulrich holds a business degree and a PhD in business from Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich.


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.

Stade (Germany)
Sales (EUR m):

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.

Ostbevern (Germany)
Sales (EUR m):
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.

Windhagen (Germany)
Sales (EUR m):
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%.

Schönberg (Germany)
Sales (EUR m):
United Souvenirs GmbH

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 80 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 55m to EUR 250m 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 to test foreign material detection systems: validation, verification & monitoring

How to test foreign material detection systems: validation, verification & monitoring

In this article about testing contaminant detection and production inspection devices...

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How to test foreign material detection systems: validation, verification & monitoring

How to test foreign material detection systems: validation, verification & monitoring

For food manufactures and processors, product inspection and contaminant detection devices are an important part of an effective foreign material control programme. In order to ensure the safety of their products, food industry businesses rely upon detection technology – often metal detectors and x-ray inspection systems – to identify physical contaminants and remove defective products from the production flow.

But just as production processes vary tremendously according to a plant’s products and scale, contaminant detection devices also differ. In order to safeguard consumer health, international food safety standards require that companies validate, verify and monitor their contaminant detection technology on an ongoing basis.

Validation, verification, monitoring: what they mean and how they differ

Validation, verification and monitoring are three distinct phases of testing product inspection devices. Each phase relates to a different period in a device’s lifecycle and uses different criteria to evaluate the effectiveness of the device within a given process.

Depending on the global food safety and quality standards applied, specific requirements for each phase of testing inspection devices may vary slightly. In this piece, we refer to the requirements laid out in IFS Food Version 7.

1. Validation: can my device achieve the intended outcomes?

In testing contaminant detection technology, validation refers to the initial processes of qualifying whether a device can adequately fulfil the specific, documented requirements of its intended use.

Validation takes place before a food company purchases and/or implements a contaminant detection system. According to IFS Food V7, validation requires “the provision of objective evidence.” This evidence takes the form of specific criteria, such as the probability of detection (POD) and the false rejection rate (FRR), which are determined and documented before testing begins.

For instance, after assessing the foreign body risks present in their process, a company may determine they require a metal detector that can detect metallic particles of a certain size with a POD no lower than 99.998% and a FRR no higher than 0.001%. Factors such as packaging, product effect and production line speed should also be taken into account. These metal detector sensitivity criteria are then documented and different metal detection devices are tested accordingly. Only the devices that perform according to these standards will pass the validation phase.

2. Verification: is my device performing as expected?

After a contaminant detection device has been implemented, verification refers to scheduled, periodic testing procedures designed to ensure the device continues to function as expected.

To be compliant with IFS Food V7, verification should take place annually and include a series of thorough control tests, training sessions for personnel and the complete documentation thereof. Beyond detection sensitivity, the verification process should also include controls to ensure the device is reliably separating defective and/or contaminated products from the production flow.

As it only happens once annually, IFS Food V7 stipulates that the verification process should involve tests and documentation that are more exhaustive than the regular monitoring protocols detailed in the next section.

3. Monitoring: is my process under control?

In regard to foreign material controls, monitoring refers to frequent, ongoing performance tests designed to assess whether any changes have taken place since the last test that could impact the performance of an inspection device.

Monitoring is a routine protocol carried out multiple times per shift, usually at the beginning and end of a shift and whenever a product or batch is changed over. According to IFS Food V7, monitoring consists of “a planned sequence of observations or measurements of control parameters.” Such observations and measurements include, amongst others:

  • ensuring the device is operating according to the correct settings
  • running a series of test pieces thru the device to ensure they are rejected
  • ensuring the catch basin for rejected products has been emptied and nothing is obstructing the ejection chute

Monitoring processes must also be documented, though not with the same exhaustiveness required in the verification process.

The importance of testing product inspection systems

While validation, verification and monitoring are distinct testing phases, all three phases are interconnected and serve broader food safety goals. These include, amongst others:

  • Ensuring food industry businesses implement contaminant detection technology that is appropriate and effective for their products and processes
  • Ensuring contaminant detection technology is consistently calibrated to perform with the necessary sensitivity
  • Promptly identifying variables that may impact the performance of a detection device, enabling businesses to make adjustments accordingly
  • Enabling thorough, ongoing documentation of food safety protocols
  • Reducing the number of false rejects and thus the volume of wasted food
  • Facilitating compliance with food safety standards, such as IFS
  • Reducing the risk of undetected contaminants which could lead to costly product recalls

How to test your metal detectors and x-ray inspection systems

Monitoring the performance of your product inspection device is not only necessary in compliance with food safety standards, it is also essential for protecting your customers and your brand. The performance and sensitivity of your device can change over time and so thorough controls can help you identify and correct minor issues before they escalate.

Here is an overview of the steps involved in regular performance monitoring for metal detectors and x-ray systems:1. Select a representative range of test pieces

Control procedures for x-ray inspection and metal detection devices should use a range of test pieces that are representative of the risks inherent in your process. Amongst these test pieces should be a few that represent the worst-case scenario: the smallest, most difficult to identify particles that could be present in your products.

X-ray and metal detector test pieces come in a variety of formats (cards, sticks, cubes, balls, etc.), materials (FE, NFE, V2A, etc.) and sizes, each of which are suitable for different processes and applications.2. Use the correct test packaging & positioning

In the case of packing and filling lines, test pieces should be placed inside the same type of packaging as your products, be they glass jars, plastic trays or tin cans. Additionally, some test pieces should be placed inside the packaging in positions where the device sensitivity is at its lowest, such as the very centre of the detector.

3. Select the appropriate control procedures

When it comes to control procedures, the number of tests you run, the frequency with which you run them and types of contaminants you test for are ultimately dependant on the requirements with which you must comply and the level of risk your company is willing to tolerate.

One of the quickest and most basic control procedures involves placing a series of test pieces (FE, NE, V2A) at different positions (front, middle, back) in three packages one after the other. These packages should be spaced at normal distances and flow thru the metal detector at normal operating speeds to test whether the device can reliably eject all three packages in succession.

This procedure may be combined with other, more extensive procedures performed at different intervals.

4. Establish intervals for testing

As part of routine monitoring, controls should be carried out at the following times:

  • At the beginning and end of a shift or production cycle
  • At regular intervals during a product cycle, such as once every hour
  • Immediately following a batch or product changeover
  • After the settings on the device have been changed
  • After locating and correcting errors on the device
  • After maintenance or servicing on the device

5. Document your tests results in compliance with requirements

Different distribution networks, food safety standards and legal authorities have different standards for the documentation of ongoing performance controls. Sophisticated product inspection technology is equipped with software that can be programmed to automatically log and send test results to the responsible parties.

Conclusion: ensuring consistently excellent performance

Every food product and processing line is unique and brings its own particular set of challenges for foreign material controls. Extensive validation testing is necessary to choose a contaminant detection device that will reliably protect your products and ongoing verification and monitoring are necessary to ensuring the device continues to perform as expected. Because the ongoing testing of equipment performance requires a significant amount of time and resources, contaminant detection technology should be designed to simplify control procedures for companies.


E-Book: Food Safety - What food processors need to know

The food industry is among the most regulated industries in the world. Manufacturers and processors must comply with a multitude of laws, rules, regulations, ordinances, and guidelines in order to produce and market foods in different regions.

This e-book is meant to offer a comprehensive overview of the varying and influential factors shaping the future of food manufacturing and processing. We hope you find many valuable and interesting pieces of information inside.


VTC GmbH & Co. KG
Promenadeplatz 12
D-80333 München

+49 (0) 89 64949 - 0