May 25, 2022 – Reading time: 3 minutes
- Gimv acquires workpiece carrier and industrial automation specialist Variotech
- INVENSITY advised Gimv with a Commercial Due Diligence focused on the assessment of Variotech’s key market and competitive positioning
INVENSITY successfully advised Gimv, a European investment company with €2 billion of assets under management, with its latest acquisition of Variotech GmbH, a leading German manufacturer of innovative thermoformed workpiece carriers for transporting components in fully automated manufacturing processes. Variotech‘s customized portfolio includes exceptionally durable workpiece carriers manufactured almost exclusively from recycled materials by thermoforming.
High-performance workpiece carriers designed for industrial automation
Established in 1998, Variotech, headquartered in Nordhorn/Lower Saxony, has developed into a successful automation technology specialist. Variotech’s products are not just critical for transportation within or between sites but also support automated operations during optimized production processes by using individual geometries. Sensitive workpieces such as PCBs or electrical sensors can be safely stored, transported, and precisely positioned. High packing density, stability, torsion resistance, and electrostatic discharge, built to hold electronically-sensitive components securely, are just some of the system’s key attributes and product benefits.
Variotech’s workpiece carriers are characterized by high innovative strength, agility, and manufacturing penetration. During product development, experts ensure close collaboration with customers to find the perfect interaction between the workpiece, the carrier, and robotics. Variotech supplies customers from various industries, such as automotive, electronics, and semiconductor technology. In addition to the continued growth in the European home market, the company defined an ambitious expansion strategy for North America with its recently established subsidiary in Indianapolis.
Commercial due diligence evaluates Variotech’s positioning and business plan
INVENSITY conducted the commercial due diligence for Gimv, providing an assessment of Variotech’s production and design capabilities vis-à-vis competitors in Europe and the USA. The due diligence confirmed the business and growth plan of the company in collaboration with industry expert interviews and surveys of the growth potential in robotics and automation. Developing trends such as eMobility, electric vehicles, and autonomous vehicles were analyzed for their impact on the production environments of Variotech’s customers. An environmental, social, and governance (ESG) audit assessed the company’s standard compliance, sustainability, and organizational practices.
Gimv states, “Variotech’s products are a key component in production automation and allow the increasing use of robotics, enabling the re-shoring of industrial production in Europe. By primarily using recycled materials, combined with the durability of its products, the company also supports environmentally-conscious manufacturing processes – two major production development trends for which Variotech is exceptionally well-positioned.“
Gimv is a European investment company listed on Euronext Brussels. With 40 years of experience in private equity, Gimv currently has EUR 2 billion of assets under management. The portfolio contains around 60 portfolio companies, with a combined turnover of EUR 3.1 billion and more than 18,000 employees. As a recognized market leader in selected investment platforms, Gimv identifies entrepreneurial, innovative companies with high growth potential and supports them in their transformation into market leaders.
Gimv’s five investment platforms are Consumer, Healthcare, Life Sciences, Smart Industries, and Sustainable Cities. Each platform works with an experienced team across Gimv’s home markets of Benelux, France, and DACH, supported by an extended international network of experts. Further information on Gimv can be found at www.gimv.com.
Variotech is a leading supplier of high-precision workpiece carriers („trays“) manufactured by thermoforming. The products offer customer benefits through significant cost savings compared to aluminum workpiece carriers, better stackability, enormous load limits (up to 3 tons payload), and high-speed robot pick times. Customers are manufacturing companies with automated or partially automated production, whose efficiency can increase by more than 20% with precise workpiece carriers.
INVENSITY GmbH is a technology and management consultancy with an international scope. It runs offices in Hamburg, Düsseldorf, Wiesbaden, Stuttgart, Munich, Detroit (USA), Barcelona (Spain), and Manila (Philippines). Among other things, it advises buyers and sellers on the international M&A activities of technology-oriented companies. The focus is on commercial, operational, technical, and IT due diligence for the following industries:
- Software / IT
- Automation / Robotics
- Cleantech / environmental metrology
- Automotive and transportation industry
- Medical technology
- Energy and building technology
The Commercial Due Diligence, with a focus on the evaluation of the competitive position as well as the technical analysis of the software, was conducted by:
- Matthias Welge (Head of Investor Support, Lead)
- Daniel Meyn (Principal Consultant, Commercial)
- Volker Lippitz (Managing Consultant, Commercial)
- Stefan Schäfer (Consultant, Commercial)