Trying Something New

Metro’s Largest Shareholder Haniel on the Lookout for Non-Retail Investments

Stephan Gemkow
Stephan Gemkow, chief executive at Franz Haniel Holding.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Haniel, a German investment company that is the largest single shareholder in retail giant Metro, plans to better balance its holdings away from retail, possibly moving toward production and technical services.

  • Facts


    • Haniel is a German family equity company owned by the Haniels, one of Germany’s wealthiest families which earned its money in Germany’s Ruhr industrial area.
    • Moody’s rating agency downgraded Haniel for its overreliance on retail in its portfolio; Haniel has a 30 percent holding in Metro.
    • Following a sale of another part of its holdings, Haniel now has money to invest and its chief executive is interested in light production and technical services.
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Haniel, an investment holding company owned by one of Germany’s wealthiest families, is looking to change the balance of its portfolio by striking out into new directions.

“We have to get involved in businesses outside the retail sector,” said Stephan Gemkow, chief executive of Haniel.

Retail makes up the majority of Haniel’s holdings which are dominated by a 30 percent share of Metro, Europe’s largest retailer, making the Haniel family the single largest shareholder in the retail giant. Its other holdings are textile services provider CWS-boco and the raw materials trader ELG, as well as 50 percent of Takkt, a business equipment firm.

“Haniel will not look the same in five years’ time as it did five years ago,” Mr. Gemkow said.

Mr. Gemkow has some money to spend.

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