Alpina Partners invests in Virtalis
A SIGNIFICANT shareholding in one of the world’s leading Virtual Reality (VR) companies, Virtalis, has been acquired by funds managed by Alpina Partners (ALPINA). ALPINA is an owner-managed, independent investment firm with approximately €300 million in assets under management.
Dr Florian Strehle, a partner at ALPINA, commented on the latest addition to the investment firm’s portfolio: “We are excited to be supporting the next phase of Virtalis’ worldwide growth strategy. Virtalis has launched innovative software like Visionary Render, VR4CAD and GeoVisionary in recent years, to work with its well-known ActiveWorks VR display systems, and this is where we see the growth potential. We will work with the Virtalis management team to further develop the Company as a leading player in the global enterprise VR software market by leveraging our network and expertise.”
Founders, David Cockburn-Price and Andrew Connell, will remain as directors and are each retaining a stake in the business to participate in the future success of Virtalis. Steve Carpenter and Glyn Read will also remain as directors and the board will be joined by Christian von Stengel, a senior software sales executive. Virtalis is headquartered in the UK, with offices in US, Germany, Finland and Malaysia, as well as partners and resellers worldwide.
MD David Cockburn-Price explained: “ALPINA is an experienced growth investor which will help us to ensure the sustainable development of Virtalis, especially with reference to our direct and indirect sales channels. We will become part of a larger group of innovative software businesses within ALPINA’s investment portfolio, exploiting synergies on many different levels.”
Technical director, Andrew Connell, said: “My entire career has been spent nurturing Virtalis and its predecessor entities as the fledgling field of VR has moved from research demonstrator programmes within Universities to the compelling real-world, commercial toolkit it is today. Back in the 90s, many commentators said VR was dead – it has been gratifying to prove them wrong as Virtalis has brought VR solutions to industries as diverse as Engineering, Security, Academia, Asset Management and GeoScience. With the help of ALPINA, we aim to rapidly develop our technology to reach a larger global user base.”
Bank funding was arranged by Phil Mason of Santander’s Growth Capital team in Manchester. Relationship Director, Ian Henry, said: “Santander is delighted to be able to support ALPINA and Virtalis. This marks the start of a particularly exciting stage of the company’s development and one where we’re very much looking forward to being involved.”
LGB Corporate Finance advised Virtalis during the structuring of the deal with ALPINA with BBS Law providing contractual legal advice. ALPINA was assisted by MJ Hudson, AC CHRISTES & PARTNER and Smith & Williamson. Gunnercooke advised Santander.
ALPINA’s portfolio is centred on small and mid-sized businesses in Europe with strong technical USPs and is supported by the European Union through the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Program (CIP).