The Chancellor and the Oil Baron

Max Reiners
Max Reiners, grandson of Adenauer, has become something of modern-day oil baron.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Rhenus Lub customers include companies like industrial giants Thyssen-Krupp, Airbus and Rolls Royce.

  • Facts


    • Rhenus Lub employs 238 people and has annual sales of €87 million.
    • The company makes lubricants for rolling mills, oils for handling metals and even products to make electric toothbrushes run smoothly.
    • One new development involves constant testing for bacteria that can develop in industrial lubricants.
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Max Reiners shakes a test tube, opens it carefully and takes a sniff. “The smell is often crucial for our customers,” he explained.

The vial doesn’t contain a fine essence or liqueur, but an industrial lubricant — one of 290 formulas developed by Rhenus Lub, the Mönchengladbach-based family firm that Mr. Reiners heads.

The 63-year-old chief executive doubtlessly inherited the tinkerer’s gene from his grandfather – the iconic post-war chancellor of West Germany, Konrad Adenauer.

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