In a shocking move the other day, Sansei Technologies of Japan announced that they have purchased Vekoma. Sansei was a big name in the Asian industry for many years, before acquiring S&S Power a few years ago. Their main claims to fame are projects overseas, and some Omnimover products that they have designed for Diseny. Since then, the company has only acted as a management firm for S&S, still allowing them to operate the same way and participate in their own projects.
Now, the Sansei umbrella will operate their own manufacturing firm, S&S, and Vekoma. This is quite ironic, as it joins together the remnants of S&S's Arrow parts division with Vekoma, the company indirectly credited to the beginning of Arrow's financial issues.
Over recent years, Vekoma has undergone quite a change to their products and image in the industry. While their Boomerang and SLC models have garnered them the greatest publicity since their inception, and not necessarily in a good way, Vekoma has broadened their horizons quite a bit since then. They have worked with Disney on multiple impactful roller coaster projects, designed brand new trains and track design techniques, and have introduced new models that are beginning to receive more attention and credibility. Vekoma also nearly won the bid to construct their first hyper coaster model for Energylandia, before losing the bid to Intamin.
While Vekoma has flourished recently, and have constructed more roller coasters than any other manufacturer in the world, this deal is not necessarily a sign of financial weakness for the company. S&S was a fairly well known company for their roller coasters and tower rides before their merger. Since then, S&S has done some of their best work yet with the El Loco, Free Spin, and Tower Models. They have even shown signs of innovation with the reintroduction of Arrow's Steeplechase ride. Sansei may have also given the company a boost in the Asian market, as they have been involved with a few parks in Japan recently.
This is a really good thing for Vekoma, as they might find these successes of their own in the Asian and North American markets. With the plethora of innovative new models that they have been offering, we can only hope to see more parks jump ship and sign with Vekoma to build some of these closer to home. Keep in mind that even though they have a new owner, the day-to-day operations and dealings of the company will be left up to them.