VAT was founded in 1965 by Siegfried Schertler, an Austrian entrepreneur and mechanical engineer, in the town of Flawil, Switzerland. The company relocated soon thereafter to its current headquarters in Haag, Switzerland, in the Rhine Valley.
The company originally focused on vacuum valves for use in scientific research. After several years, VAT began to diversify its product portfolio and entered the thin-film market. In 1983, VAT established Its COMVAT AG subsidiary to manufacture bellows that are used as flexible sealing elements. In 1988, VAT entered the semiconductor sector with its proprietary VATSEAL gate valve.
As its product scope broadened, VAT also expanded its business beyond its traditional European markets by establishing both manufacturing and service operations in the US and Asia to better align its operations with those of its biggest customers. In 2008, VAT acquired Sysmec in Arad, Romania, for the machining and manufacture of components and assemblies. In 2012, VAT acquired the vacuum valves product line from Inficon AG, part of the ongoing consolidation in the vacuum valve market.
A key development was the establishment in 2012of its Malaysian manufacturing site in Penang. Other growth actions included establishing gate valve manufacturing in Taiwan, as well as service centers in the US, Japan, South Korea, China, Singapore and Taiwan.
VAT Group was acquired by Capvis and Partners Group in 2014, after which the company underwent substantial development, including the launch of the VATmotion operational excellence program and the expansion of the senior management team to include people with broad industry, operational and geographic experience.
In April 2016, VAT went public with the conclusion of its successful Initial Public Offering on the SIX Swiss Exchange.