Given the disruption that we’re all currently experiencing, it’s been a curious experience to revisit the areas Victanis has covered in 2019 across our London, Paris and Munich offices. Who knows when we will return to something resembling normality but 2019 at least demonstrated Victanis flexibility in a number of ways. We trust this will stand us in good stead in 2020 whatever the circumstances.
Firstly, our focus on core areas of expertise has continued (TIC services, aerospace and defence and renewable energy) but we have also added areas that we have developed deep knowledge and experience in. Automotive simulation is one particular area where we have built on our work supporting Spectris Plc’s acquisition of VI-Grade in 2017 as well as further expansion into aviation services.
Secondly, the types of projects we have been asked to undertake and the range of approaches we have used has once more shown that Victanis’ ability to respond specifically to each client’s requirements and treat each project as unique is a valuable and distinctive quality.
Looking forward, one of the specific areas we have looked at in the past is supply chain assurance and business continuity. We feel this is highly likely to be a relevant subject area in the months, indeed in the years, to come as businesses reassess their supply-chain models. Look out also for governments elevating supply chain security up the list of National Security priorities.
Projects Delivered in 2019
Galileo Global Education – Commercial Pilot Training
Galileo is a French company largely focussed on education and specialist training. In order to understand a potentially new area for expansion, Galileo asked Victanis to undertake a comprehensive assessment of the rapidly growing commercial pilot training market with a focus on European ATOs (Approved Training Organisations).
Using a mixture of secondary research and modelling in conjunction with a large number of in-depth and informed discussions with over 20 individuals involved in all aspects of pilot training and recruitment of pilots, Victanis provided a clear, detailed and focussed assessment of the demand for pilots, the growth in the training market, the competitive environment and the key features of the best-in-class ATO businesses, including relationships with airlines, financial structural support to cadets and ensuring a secure supply of qualified instructors.
AV Simulation – Strategy Review
AV Simulation (AVS) is a leading provider of automotive simulation software and simulators, with a global customer base of automotive OEMs, systems suppliers and research organisations. Victanis undertook a strategic review of AVS two business lines with a view to providing the company’s board and management with a select number of strategic options to ensure the company’s continued success in a rapidly changing market.
With the automotive market in a unique situation as a number of new technologies (electric powertrains, ADAS, autonomous driving etc.) simultaneously stress old and familiar business models, Victanis assessed the potential for growth, customer requirements in the area of ADAS and autonomous vehicle development and the changing competitive environment within both software simulation and the related hardware simulators. Building on our previous experience in the automotive simulation sector we were able to obtain first-hand views and information from end users and industry experts to enrich our broader research and analysis., which was essential in ensuring an informed and authoritative analysis in a market that is rapidly developing.
We have supported Socotec Group throughout the year on a number of strategy and corporate development activities in Europe. One example that stood out was the successful acquisition of building control specialist Butler & Young in the UK.
Butler and Young
Victanis provided comprehensive support to SOCOTEC UK, a leading provider of risk management and compliance services to the building and construction industries, during its acquisition of Butler & Young Group, a specialist provider of building control and fire consultancy services in UK and Ireland.
Following a comprehensive review of the building control and fire safety markets in the UK, Victanis worked with SOCOTEC UK across the entire transaction process to completion. Butler & Young Group is the umbrella company for Butler & Young Approved Inspectors, Trenton Fire (fire safety consultancy) and Butler & Young Consultants (built environment consultancy).
The acquisition of Butler & Young Group and its highly complementary technical expertise enabled Socotec to strengthen its portfolio of services available to the construction market in the UK and to build on Socotec’s long heritage in the building control industry, with its roots as France’s first technical building inspection body set up in 1929.
State Government of Victoria, Australia – European Defence Markets and Opportunity Assessment
Victanis was asked by the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions to assist the State’s defence and aerospace companies to address the European defence market as part of the wider ambition of the Australian Federal Government to move Australia into the Top 10 of global defence exporters.
Victanis undertook an in-depth review of 4 key countries, the UK, France, Germany and Sweden, detailing their strategic posture and policy development, their defence spending trajectory, key areas for development and detailing the procurement processes and bodies within each country. Following this high level overview, Victanis identified all major defence procurement programmes within each country and assessed in detail those that would be most relevant and open to the Victorian defence industry. Finally, Victanis also identified those defence companies in key technology areas that potentially would be a candidate for investing in Victoria as part of their overseas strategy.
Quebec - Ministry for Business, Sciences and Innovation
At the request of the Quebec state government, Victanis organised a trade mission for 12 defence and security companies at the MILIPOL 2019 fair in November. MILIPOL is the leading event for homeland security and safety in Europe with the participation of 1,100 international exhibiting providers. Organizing more than 70 qualified B2B meetings with European stakeholders (Security forces, Corporates, Defence and Interior Ministries), Victanis helped Quebec Defence and Security sector to understand French and European Security Markets trends and procurement processes.
CID - Resources Centre for Defence Industry - Region Centre Val de Loire
For the past 3 years, Victanis has supported the regional government of the Centre Val de Loire Region in implementing a new public policy to support the local defence industry. This strategy saw the creation of the Defence Industries Resource Centre. This cluster strengthens the competitiveness of companies, the visibility and international attractiveness of the region and participates with the DGA in supporting defence innovation relating to land combat.
UK Private Equity – Satellite RF Ground Equipment
A major UK Private Equity fund asked Victanis to undertake some specific Commercial Due Diligence within a very compressed timeframe on a company engaged in manufacturing RF equipment for use in satellite ground stations. The technology involved is highly complex with only one or two comparable providers globally and the products are used in satellite applications used primarily by state intelligence, and defence users as well as by satellite communications and broadcast providers.
In a short timeframe, Victanis was able to swiftly get to grips with the detail of the technology, understand and analyse its importance for future satellite market relative to other emerging satellite technology and also
utilise our network to get views on the company’s positioning and utility with its unique customer base in the intelligence and defence community.
EuropeanCertification Body – Certification of Medical Devices
With the implementation of the revised EU Medical Device Regulations (MDR) and the revised EU In Vitro Diagnostic Medical Devices Regulations (IVDR) coming into force on May 2020 and May 2022 respectively, Victanis was asked to undertake a comprehensive review of the market for Medical Devices certification and assess the impact in demand and supply resulting from the revised MDR and IVDR regulations as well as the analysis of all Notified Bodies in Europe involved in Medical Device to forecast the European landscape for provision of Medical Devices certification services by 2022.
As part of its conclusions, Victanis made clear that the new regulations should result into a significant increase of the addressable market for medical devices certification while leading to some consolidation across suppliers for the next three years.
European Engineering Consulting & Development Outsourcing – Corporate Development Support in Europe
A pan European provider of engineering, project management, research and development services to the Energy, Aerospace & Defence, Transportation and Infrastructure sectors has asked Victanis to support them with the development of market entry strategies across a selection of major European economies including Germany, France and Benelux, the identification and approach of local providers for partnership or acquisition when possible and the introduction to a shortlist of key prescribers and prospect customers in each country.
Having been active every year since inception in / with the outsourced R&D and Engineering services market in Europe, Victanis has built an experience and a country specific knowledge that help today devise rapidly the most appropriate market entry strategy depending on a provider’s technical expertise, target sectors and positioning and successfully establish this provider through acquisitions and industrial partnerships.
Green City Group
Victanis has supported Green City for more than 12 years as it expanded its renewable energy business in new geographies. Among many different activities undertaken, some of the most prominent include:
- successful conclusion of a sales mandate for a 3.3 MW German solar park to a German institutional investor;
- successful conclusion of a sales mandate for a 9.6 MW German wind farm to a major Swiss utility;
- successful conclusion of a sales mandate for 34 MW French solar park (Joint-venture participation);
- successful acquisition of a Corsican 1 MW Greenhouse solar park including 2 MW of battery storage; and
- successful acquisition of a 12 MW Spanish solar project and the signing of a PPA Agreement;
- successful implementation of a substantial revolving bridge facility from French Eiffel Investment Group.
LCEET (La Compagnie Energies et Territoires)
Victanis helped support the successful arrangement of a development joint-venture for two ground-mounted French solar parks with a total capacity of 90 MW. In addition, we have given assistance to prepare and present a large-scale hybrid renewable energy project (solar-wind-storage) to the Namibian government.
Other Companies considered in detail in 2019:
Testing, Inspection & Certification
Alcumus – H&S compliance, chemical compliance, management systems certification and compliance software (UK)
Shield Safety Group – H&S, Food and Fire Safety compliance (UK)
Millbrook - leading vehicle testing facility for the design, engineering and development of automotive and test technology propulsion systems with a particular focus on electrical propulsion (UK)
UTAC – Regulation and Approval, Track Testing and and Certification of land transport systems (France)
British Assessment Bureau – Management certification for SMEs
Food Alert – Food safety, health & safety and fire safety services, software and training
Normec – a technology-enabled provider of Testing, Inspection and Certification services focusing on the Food and the Built Environment sectors in the Benelux region
GBA Laboratory Group - one of the leading laboratory testing service provider in Germany and Austria specialized in the analysis of food and pharmaceuticals
Aerospace, Defence & Security
Schoeller-Bleckmann Aerospace Technology – Oilfield and aerospace technology
Pearson Engineering – Specialist armoured vehicles manufacturer
AAR – Aviation services to commercial and government customers worldwide
Serco – Government out-sourced services, including defence, security, education and justice.
Sii Group – Technology consulting and system integration services to industry
Tencate Advanced Armour – Specialist provider of ballistic armour protection for individuals and vehicles
ETL Systems – RF matrices and equipment for satellite ground stations
AT engine Controls – Defence MRO and services
Safran – Leading provider of aerospace, naval, land, communications and security systems and technology
Raytheon Anschutz – Integrated navigation and bridge systems for naval and maritime applications.
TMD Technologies – Microwave tubes and components for defence and civil radar
Exensor - Unattended Ground Sensors System for Homeland and Military applications
Adarma – Cyber security services to industry and government.
AAC Ltd – Aviation services specialising in ‘wet-leasing’ of aircraft.
Technical Services & Industrials
London Offshore Consultants – Maritime and energy safety and compliance services
HomeServe Plc – Home emergency repairs and improvements business
Watt and Well – Power electronics for aerospace, oil & gas, industrial apps and mobility fields
Welin Lambie – Design, manufacture and test of davits for naval and maritime vessels.