Dutch roller coaster company Vekoma goes Japanese

The Vekoma boomerang. Photo: By WillMcC via Wikimedia Commons
The Vekoma boomerang. Photo: By WillMcC via Wikimedia Commons

Dutch roller coaster company Vekoma, which makes rides for Disney among others, has been bought by Japanese entertainment equipment industry group Sansei Technologies.

The collaboration with Sansei is the beginning of a new chapter in Vekoma’s development, which started in 1926 as a manufacturer of farm equipment.

During the 1950s, the company switched over to steel constructions for the local coal mining industry.  When the mines were shut down in the 1960s, Vekoma started producing  steel pipes for the petrochemical industry.

Amusement rides were next and the company started making roller coasters in the 1970s. It now has a payroll of 300.

Vekoma rides, some 360 in all, are found in leading fun parks around the world – both family and what the company calls thrill rides. For example, the aptly-named Flying Dutchman, in which people are harnessed in a prone position so they feel they are flying like Superman, was launched in the late 1990s.

The deal means Sansei will increase its global market share in the field of designing, supplying and installing roller coasters.

Headquartered in Osaka and active in the global entertainment equipment industry, Sansei booked 2017 turnover of some €225m, largely from the sale of attractions to amusement parks and dynamic stage installations to theatres.

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