Duo partner to continue expansion of ADAS vehicle development

26th July 2018
Lanna Cooper


Spectris has announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire VI-grade, as part of its continuing expansion into PLM and into ADAS vehicle development, testing, and simulation. The acquisition is subject to approval by the relevant merger clearance authorities.

Spectris is embracing the combination of hardware, software, and services to accelerate development of advanced electromechanical products.

The rapid advancement of mechatronics and autonomous systems has forced the convergence of physical and virtual testing: the fast expansion of vehicle platforms (gasoline, electric, fuel cell, hybrid, etc.) and vehicle mechatronics (for ADAS and Autonomous Driving) has created a strong market need for VI-grade solutions and fueled their significant corporate growth (over 20%) over the past few years.

Market projections indicate that the pace of investment in these simulation areas will only accelerate in the next five years.

“VI-grade represents an exciting opportunity for us to move further into the simulation segment of vehicle testing, which is expected to see significant growth in coming years on the back of ADAS and AV development and the proliferation of models” said John O’Higgins, Chief Executive, Spectris.

“It is closely related to our existing instrumentation businesses and, as such, the acquisition is an important step forward in the realisation of the Group's strategy to provide our customers with differentiated solutions that incorporate a combination of hardware, software and services. Supported by Spectris' global reach and expertise, the combination of VI-grade's application and technical expertise in simulation software and hardware along with the testing equipment, services and software that already exists in other Spectris operating companies will help customers address the increasing complexities involved in product testing whilst reducing the time to market for new products. We believe that there is a significant opportunity for VI-grade to strengthen its market position and accelerate its growth to expand internationally and broaden its solutions offering both organically and through M&A.”

“This is a strategic move for VI-grade and we are very excited to be joining Spectris,” said Jürgen Fett, Managing Director at VI-grade. “There are many advantages to becoming part of this global group. The leadership team at Spectris has a strong interest in developing and investing in VI-grade’s capabilities and highly talented workforce.

"We also believe Spectris’ other portfolio companies will bring additional expertise and capabilities that will allow us to jointly offer innovative solutions to our customers. We expect to accelerate VI-grade’s growth through investment and expansion into key international markets. We will remain independent yet benefit from the stability that this change of ownership brings to the VI-grade Group.” 

Spectris intends to establish VI-grade as an independent operating business within its Test & Measurement (T&M) business segment alongside Bruel & Kjaer, HBM (including nCode and ReliaSoft), ESG, and Millbrook Group (proving grounds & lab testing). The business will benefit from the investment and global network that come along with being part of Spectris. Spectris will retain VI-grade’s employees/sites and has a clear strategy to significantly invest in, and grow, the business.  

VI-grade’s current management team will continue to drive the business’ future growth led by Bob Ryan, a software industry veteran, who has joined Spectris to lead its advance into simulation software solutions.

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