Werhahn KG

Founded 180 years ago as a diversified family business, Werhahn has developed into a corporate group with a diverse array of activities, both in Germany and abroad. A close relationship with our markets and customers, reliability and social responsibility are the values that the mid-sized family-run business has always practiced and maintained. Werhahn continues to be one-hundred percent family-owned and resides in Neuss. From here, the Wilh. Werhahn KG directs the group’s ventures.

Supervisory Board

Management Board

Facts

A corporate group with a diverse array of activities

Werhahn is currently managed by representatives from the 5th and 6th generation, as well as executives from outside the family. In 2022, the Werhahn Group with its three corporate divisions Building Materials, Consumer Goods and Financial Services and its ca. 10 000 employees generated a turnover of around 4 billion Euro worldwide.

SALES VOLUME 2022 BY REGIONS IN MILLION €

SALES VOLUME 2022 BY REGIONS IN MILLION €

EMPLOYEES 2022 BY COUNTRIES

EMPLOYEES 2022 BY COUNTRIES

SALES VOLUME 2022 BY BUSINESS UNITS IN MILLION €

SALES VOLUME 2022 BY BUSINESS UNITS IN MILLION €

A corporation for entrepreneurs

Werhahn’s organization is decentralized. In general, the companies of the Group are legally independent. They are organized into three corporate divisions and seven business units. Their flat management hierarchies with short, non-bureaucratic routes of decision-making enable a wide scope of action. Thus, the demands of the market can be met fast and flexibly – for the benefit of the customers. This means that every single employee must be highly motivated, as well as individually responsible.

Compliance

Werhahn’s code of conduct creates security

Werhahn Group and its employees are subject to various legal orders. Relevant for an internationally active Group are not only the laws of the respective company’s country of residence, but also the laws of the country where it is active. The Werhahn code of conduct was created to help executives and employees of the whole Group to take the right decisions. The codex illustrates the values of Werhahn Group and defines the norms of behavior that enable the Werhahn companies and their employees to maintain their reputation as well as the trust of their shareholders, business partners, and other institutions.

History

Diversified, focused, versatile

From the beginning, Werhahn was not engaged in just a single business, but in several different areas at once. This diversification is practiced to this day as a corporate principle that has proven itself over and over in the past 180 years, especially in difficult times.
Another corporate principle is focus, which means that Werhahn and its shareholders concentrate on the core values and competencies of the family business.
Werhahn strives to achieve sustained earnings growth and to create lasting value. In the past, just as much as in the present and in the future, it was necessary for companies to do more than just keep up with the changing times and orient their business activities accordingly. Innovation and the ability to position oneself in a changing market with new customer expectations are just as important in this regard as making active changes to the business portfolio.

1841

Foundation of the company by
Pete Wilhelm, known as Wilhelm Werhahn

Diversification right from the start

The range of products encompasses the timber
trade agricultural products, basalt, tuff and bricks, as well as guano fertilizer and cement

Conversion of the company into a general partnership

After the death of the founder, the company is converted from a business
under sole proprietorship into a general partnership. The three heirs are
liable in equal proportions. In 1977, Werhahn becomes a limited partnership

1871

Development of the mill industry

1871 Foundation of the oil mill Werhahn & Nauen
1873 Acquisition of the flower mill Nix und Cie, which becomes the root
of the former corporate division Baking Products

1880

Lending a real estate operations

Development of various property managements, which lay the foundation for
the current House and Real Estate branch of Wilh. Werhahn KG

1888

Foundation of Basalt-Actien-Gesellschaft

Origin of current Aggregates business unit

1894

Engagement in the Rhenish lignite industry

Foundation of the Horrem briquette factory, which is closed in 1969

Acquisition of shares of the
slate producer Rathscheck

Origin of the current Slate business unit 1909 acquisition of all shares

1904

Official confirmation of the
Wilh. Werhahn company as banking business

Origin of the current banking house Werhahn GmbH

1906

Engagement in the lignite industry in central Germany

Acquisition of the Senftenberger Kohlewerke, which were confiscated by the
Red Army in 1945 and expropriated in 1947

1908

since 1908 expansion of the food industry

Acquisition of the dairies Schweizerhof (1908) and C. Bolle (1917),
the Georg Schätzlein GmbH (1929) and the Schad & Füllgrabe AG (1936),
1987 Sale of the complete food branch

1920

During the 1920s and 1930s: modernization and restructuring
of all business units

1945

Collapse and reconstruction

In the West, Werhahn invests heavily into the reconstruction of the business units.
In the East, all business operations collapse due to the loss of the brown coal factories and mines and the food stores of Schade & Füllgrabe

1966

First contract of association

Majority shareholding in
ZWILLING J. A. Henckels AG

Birth of the current Consumer Goods corporate
division; acquisition of the rest of the shares in 1979

1969

Acquisition of abc-Bank

Origin of the current business unit abcfinance

1978

Wilh. Werhahn becomes sole owner of Basalt AG

1988

Acquisition of the majority interest in the mill

Georg Plange GmbH & Co. (Diamant flour)

Acquistition of AKB-Bank

After the very successful development of the renowned
automobile credit bank, it is sold in 2002 to the Spanish bank
Santander Central Hispano

Outsourcing of the banking business

Outsourcing of the banking business and the ZN Haus und Grund into
the newly estabilshed Bankhaus Werhahn KG

1996

Majority interest in DEUTAG

Extension of the Aggregates business unit by asphalt production.
In 2006, DEUTAG is fully acquired by Werhahn

2002

Expansion of the building materials activities

Acquisition of Tendis GmbH & Co and shares of Deutsche Asphalt GmbH,
both of which are subsidiaries of Philipp Holzmann AG

2005

Schmidt acquisition

Purchase of the construction and building materials division of Dr. Schmidt Group

2008

Systematic expansion of the corporate division Consumer Goods

The cookware manufacturers Staub and Demeyere complement the kitchen line,
the beauty line grows in 2004, 2012 and 2013 through the acquisitions of
Tweezerman, alessandro International and the Chinese QVS Group;
the hairdressing supplies line.

2010

Dynamic growth of abcfinance through strategic acquisitions

Ten leasing and five factoring purchases until 2015

2011

Foundation of Bank11

The bank offers sales and purchase financing for the automotive trade.
Together with abcfinance it constitutes the corporate division Financial Services. 2013,
acquisition of C&A Bank and expansion of direct banking for private customers

2014

Sale of the milling businesses

By selling its milling businesses, which were united into the Premium Milling
Group, Wilh. Werhahn KG separates from the largest part of its
corporate division Banking Products

2015

Acquisition by thecorporate division Consumer Goods

Purchase of the Italian company Ballarini, expanding the product range of the kitchen
line into the strategically important segment of non-stick coated cookware

2016

175 years of Werhahn

Further expansion of the brand portfolio

The Zwilling Kitchenware business unit enters the growth market of BBQ and
outdoor cooking with the acquisition of Santos Grills and Flammkraft

2021

Change of ownership at United Salon Technologies

Wilh. Werhahn KG sells the Jaguar/Tondeo Professional Hairdressing Equipment business unit

2023

New slate extraction site in Spain

The Slate business unit takes over Pizarras La Baña and now has three
production sites in the northern Spanish slate region of Galicia