Entrepreneurial Family

The Werhahn Dynasty

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Wilhelm Werhahn founded the company, which was initially involved in oil and milling.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    The media-shy Werhahn Group has decided to open up and become more transparent to the business community.

  • Facts


    • The Werhahns are ranked Germany’s seventh-richest family, according to Manager Magazin.
    • The group is planning takeovers, ideally of companies that will complement its household goods manufacturer Zwilling.
    • A recent study revealed that German family-owned groups tend to employ a much higher percentage of staff in their domestic market compared with companies listed on Germany’s DAX index that are not family-owned.
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While politicians and economists in Germany literally beg for more births to balance the country’s ageing population, their growing numbers are proving a challenge for the Werhahns, among Germany’s ten richest families.

“The number of family shareholders has grown from 347 to 409 since 2010,” said Anton Werhahn, chief executive of Werhahn KG since 2005, in an exclusive interview with Handelsblatt.

The larger number of family shareholders means the group, which owns nearly 200 companies, will have to pay out more of its earnings in future. And that means it must ensure profits rise as fast as the number of family members increases, otherwise, the 409 family shareholders will be looking at lower dividends.

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