Leaving Quebec, Expanding Abroad | Optel arrives in Germany

(Munich) Louis Roy, CEO of Optel in Quebec, the world leader in traceability systems, meets for the first time the employees of Traxeed, a German company he has just acquired. An important transaction for Optel, allowing it to consolidate its position in the European pharmaceutical traceability market and expand its reach to other industries.

Posted at 6:30am

“We were number 1 in North America, number 1 in the Asian market, where we are rising from number 5 to number 2 in the European market. Above all, this new mainstay in Munich gives us access to the huge and diverse German market,” Louis Roy explained to me at the sidelines of a ceremony that took place on 9 November.

Last January, Optel completed the acquisition of Traxeed, a company that designs and manufactures traceability systems for pharmaceutical products, as Optel does in its markets. Traxeed was a subsidiary of the German group Körber, a manufacturer of equipment for the production of vaccines.

“We persuaded Körber to sell us this non-essential business and today we signed an agreement that ensures we can trace all vaccines manufactured on their facilities,” explained Louis Roy.


Optel offices in Quebec

A little earlier in the day, Florent Bouguin, Chief Technology Officer at Optel, explained to me at Traxeed the genesis of this transaction.

“We have been looking at the German market for two years. The traceability unit in Körber’s pharmaceutical products seemed to us to be the best vehicle for entering the German market.

“We will also be able to apply our know-how in traceability to the natural resources, automotive, battery, food, chemical and consumer goods sectors,” Florent Bouguin told me.

“We were already present in Europe with our plant in Ireland, but German companies want to do business with German companies. »

An accompaniment in implantation

This is confirmed to me by Élise Roy, director of economic services at the Délégation générale du Québec in Munich. Reporting to Investissement Québec International, Élise Roy leads a team of six including four economic attachés, all German (except one Austrian), who are part of the staff of the Department of International Relations.

“Germany is the production cradle of Europe. But to do business in Germany, you have to be based here. They want partners who speak German. We often talk about the big German corporations like Mercedes, Siemens, BMW, Volkswagen, BASF, but 80% of the German economy is based on large family SMEs,” says Élise Roy.


Elisa Valentin, General Delegate of Quebec in Munich, Louis Roy, CEO of Optel, and Élise Roy, Director of Economic Services at the General Delegate of Quebec in Munich

“We were referred to Optel by our European manager at Investissement Québec’s Montreal office. We talked to Florent Bouguin about for a year zoomwe took them to health conferences to give them visibility to customers and we organized industry visits to other potential customers,” explains Élise Roy.

clear and to accompany

When Optel identified Traxeed as a takeover target a year ago, the Délégation générale du Québec team in Munich offered their services to help them complete the transaction.

“We have organized meetings with officials from the firm to fully understand the labor standards laws. For successful implementation in Germany, they were placed with specialists from Invest in Bavaria. »

We are not lawyers or financiers, we support, clarify and get our network of contacts in Germany up and running.

Élise Roy, Director of Economic Services at the Quebec General Delegation in Munich

His colleague Katharina Benz, Bavarian and economic attaché in Munich for 12 years, put her list of important contacts for experts of all kinds into practice, as did Peter Freier, economic attaché with a focus on science and technology.

“Actually, the entire Optel team was involved because the company wants to offer its traceability technologies in all industrial sectors,” explains Katharina Benz.

Results proof

This collaboration was fruitful as the economic team of the Quebec General Delegation managed to bring together about fifteen managers from as many industrial companies in Munich during the reception organized for Optel where Louis Roy presented his company and his vision of a responsible supply chain.

Among the companies represented, we found in particular the head of the supplier department of the automobile manufacturer Porsche, the vice president for sustainable development of the industrial group Siemens, executives from Boehringer, Bosch and Veritas as well as representatives of Bavarian employers.

Companies now required to demonstrate a healthy environmental record have no choice but to ensure their supply chain does the same. With our traceability technologies, we go back to the source and can help you achieve your goals. We have become indispensable.

Louis Roy, CEO of Optel

Two months after the ceremony that marked Optel’s official arrival in Germany, talks with Porsche are progressing at a brisk pace and the Optel CEO will move to Europe with his family in September to be closer to future developments.

“Awareness of climate change has increased in Europe. The extreme heatwaves Europe is experiencing this summer add to the urgency of decarbonization. It will go faster,” predicts the Optel CEO, who also wants things to go faster.

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