Stefan Messer named Family Entrepreneur of the Year
The industrial gas supplier laid the foundation for renewed business success by taking all the Messer Group shares back into family ownership. Stefan Messer had to accept a three-year non-competition obligation and subsequent one-year ban on using the Messer brand in Germany as a result of this financing. Since the mid-60s, the Messer family had only held one third of the shares in the company which belonged to the Hoechst Group and later to Aventis. The newly formed company, Messer Group GmbH, launched its business activities from Sulzbach, in the Taunus region, on 7 May 2004, with over 30 operating companies in Europe, Asia and Peru. The business owner returned to the German market with Messer Industriegase GmbH in 2007. Areas in which industrial gases are used include mechanical engineering, food production and medicine. Today, the world’s largest owner-managed industrial gas specialist employs some 5,200 staff in over 30 countries. In 2009, the annual turnover was 797 million euros.
The nine-strong judging panel, made up of business and media representatives as well as partners of the INTES Academy for Family Businesses, was particularly impressed with the strategic return of the company into family ownership and the practice of “good governance”. Virtues such as responsibility, endurance and entrepreneurial flair have been the cornerstone of the Messer family’s socially responsible way of doing business for generations.
The judging panel was made up of the following members: Prof. Peter May, founder of INTES, Lutz Goebel, Vice-President of the ASU family business association, Angelika Frölich, Ernst & Young partner, Wilken Freiherr von Hodenberg, Spokesman for the Management Board of Deutsche Beteiligungs AG, André Knöll, Managing Director of Hauck & Aufhäuser Finance Management, Dr. Nikolaus Förster, Editor-in-Chief of ‘impulse’ magazine, Dr. Andreas Hack, Institute Director and professor at WHU, Frank Wieser, Spokesman for the Management Board of Vontobel Europe AG, and Prof. Klaus Schweinsberg, CEO of the INTES foundation.
Stefan Messer was lauded by Dr. Nikolaus Förster and presented with the award in recognition of his lifetime achievement as an entrepreneur. The award ceremony took place before an audience of some 200 guests at the 2010 INTES Business Success Forum’s evening function, which was held on 4 November at the Grandhotel Schloss Bensberg.
Messer is one of the leading industrial gas companies, and is active in over 30 countries in Europe and Asia, as well as Peru, with over 60 operating companies. Its international activities are managed from Frankfurt am Main, whilst management of core technical functions – logistics, engineering, production and applications engineering – is undertaken from Krefeld. In 2009, about 5,200 employees generated a consolidated turnover of €797 million.
From acetylene to xenon, the Messer Group has one of the most diverse product portfolios on the market – it produces industrial gases such as oxygen, nitrogen, argon, carbon dioxide, hydrogen, helium, shielding gases for welding, specialty gases, medical gases and many different gas mixtures.
The Messer Group has state-of-the-art research and competence centers in which it develops applied technologies for the use of gases in almost every sector of industry, in food technology and environmental technology, medicine as well as research and science.
Messer Group GmbH
Phone: +49 (0) 2151 7811-251
Fax: +49 (0) 2151 7811-598
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