Purpose-driven investor

Bold entrepreneurship and continuous transformation have accompanied Haniel's successful history for more than 265 years. Its logical continuation: an investment strategy that takes an “Enkelfähig” stance and ensures long-term success.

About Haniel

Franz Haniel & Cie. GmbH is 100 percent family-owned and has been based in Duisburg since the company was founded in 1756. It manages a portfolio of independent companies with the goal to create value for generations as a leading purpose-driven investor.

To this end, we align our portfolio strictly "enkelfähig,” that means: along clear performance and sustainability criteria. Currently, the Haniel portfolio comprises ten investments: BauWatch, BekaertDeslee, CWS Cleanrooms, CWS Fire Safety, CWS Hygiene, CWS Workwear, Emma – The Sleep Company, KMK kinderzimmer, ROVEMA and TAKKT. In addition, Haniel manages a financial stake in CECONOMY and minority stakes in high-growth start-ups.

In 2023, the Haniel Group employed nearly 22,000 people and generated sales of EUR 4.4 billion.

Haniel Campus in beautiful weather

Corporate Governance

Stable community of values

One feature distinguishes Haniel from other family-owned companies: since the beginning of the 20th century, corporate management has been entrusted to external managers. No family member works in the Group. Entrepreneurial decisions can thus be taken without regard to family commitments in order to achieve optimal business results.


The family members only pass on Haniel shares to each other. This means that selling to people outside the business is not possible. The more than 750 shareholders are organized in the Shareholders’ Meeting. It convenes once a year and elects the Family Advisory Board - the link between the family and the company - from its members for periods of five years. The Advisory Board comprises up to 30 family members, from which four family members are elected to the Supervisory Board by the Annual Shareholders’ Meeting. In addition, the Annual Shareholders’ Meeting elects 2 non-family members to the Supervisory Board, who form the group of shareholder representatives in the Supervisory Board along with the family members. Here, they co-determine the principles of the business policy and influence the corporate strategy. The chairmanship of the Supervisory Board, who form the group of shareholder representatives in the Supervisory Board along with the family members. Here, they co-determine the principles of the business policy and influence the corporate strategy. Shareholder and employee representatives are equally represented in this co-determined monitoring body and together they appoint and dismiss members of the Management Board, monitor their work and support them in an advisory capacity. Four members of the Supervisory Board form the Audit Committee, which also features equal representation. This monitors the accounting process and the effectiveness of the internal control system, the risk management system, the internal audit function and the compliance management system. Moreover, the committee examines and confirms the impartiality of the auditors of the financial statements.


Haniel Leadership Team

Extended management

At Haniel, decisions are made in close consultation between the Management Board and a diverse extended leadership team. The members of this team bring different personal strengths, perspectives and professional experience to the table – the best prerequisites for making the right decisions on our Enkelfähig journey.


Management Team

has been with Haniel since October 2023. The Dutchman started his career at Price Waterhouse Coopers and worked 21 years for the US company Belden Inc., serving as CFO since 2012. Before joining the Haniel management team, he was Executive Vice President and CFO at the technology company VIAVI Solutions. Henk Derksen studied economics, holds a master's degree in Accounting, Business Administration and Tax, and is a registered controller at Tias Business School in Tilburg.

Henk Derksen

Henk Derksen

has been with Haniel since October 2023. The Dutchman started his career at Price Waterhouse Coopers and worked 21 years for the US company Belden Inc., serving as CFO since 2012. Before joining the Haniel management team, he was Executive Vice President and CFO at the technology company VIAVI Solutions. Henk Derksen studied economics, holds a master's degree in Accounting, Business Administration and Tax, and is a registered controller at Tias Business School in Tilburg.

was appointed to the Haniel Management Board in February 2024 and since August 2022, has been Head of Legal & GRC. Dr. Albrecht-Baba, who holds a doctorate in law, previously worked at HOCHTIEF AG for 15 years in various functions, most recently as Head of Group Compliance & Legal. From 2005 to 2007, she was an in-house counsel in the legal department of RÜTGERS Chemicals GmbH (now: Rain Carbon Germany).

Dr. Alexandra Albrecht-Baba

Dr. Alexandra Albrecht-Baba

was appointed to the Haniel Management Board in February 2024 and since August 2022, has been Head of Legal & GRC. Dr. Albrecht-Baba, who holds a doctorate in law, previously worked at HOCHTIEF AG for 15 years in various functions, most recently as Head of Group Compliance & Legal. From 2005 to 2007, she was an in-house counsel in the legal department of RÜTGERS Chemicals GmbH (now: Rain Carbon Germany).

Supervisory Board

Strong partners at the top

The Supervisory Board monitors the work of the Management Board and supports it in an advisory capacity. Both boards must agree on important strategic decisions. In this process, the Supervisory Board pays particular attention to ensuring that the Group develops in harmony with its traditional values. The Supervisory Board at Haniel is composed of six shareholder representatives and six employee representatives. 



Supervisory Board

  • Maximilian Schwaiger,
  • Chairman
  • Diplom-Kaufmann (degree in business administration)
  • Prof. Dr. Kay Windthorst, 
  • Deputy Chairman
  • university professor
  • Dr. Stephan Glander,
  • Diplom-Chemiker (degree in chemistry)
  • Nadia Meier-Kirner,
  • Diplom-Kauffrau (degree in business administration)

  • Mathias Pahl,
  • Managing director

    Dr. Thomas Vollmoeller,
    Independent consultant

Dirk Patermann
Deputy Chairman
Chairman of the Central Works Council
CWS Hygiene Deutschland GmbH

Miriam Bürger
Union Secretary
IG Metall

Thomas Kniehl
Chairman Works Council Kaiser + Kraft GmbH
Chairman of the Group Works Council

Lutz Leischner
Diplom-Mathematiker (degree in mathematics)
CWS-boco Supply Chain Management GmbH

  • Carsten Birnstiel
    Chairman Works Council Rovema GmbH

  • Michael Wagner
    Union secretary verdi

Business man standing on a inside balcony

Maintain flexibility

Sound financing

The Haniel Holding uses both equity and debt to finance its investments in the portfolio companies. Equity is derived from Haniel’s more than 750 shareholders, for whom sustainability and long-term thinking are important principles. The dividend policy is measured according to the company's performance and the value of the portfolio.


We place particular emphasis on commercially sound financing when striving to meet our company goals. To ensure the liquidity of the Holding Company and create scope for strategic sustainable investment, we believe in long-term, stable and balanced financing. Cooperation with around 30 banks forms an important pillar of our external financing. The Holding Company has built up a reliable partnership with these banks and has arranged bilateral lines of credit with term of up to 5 years. The company has also expanded its borrowings on the capital market to form the second pillar of its balanced and long-term financing strategy. The bilateral lines of credit and external financing on the capital market both serve to ensure constantly the liquidity of the Holding Company. So that the company remains able to operate at all times, we pay particularly close attention to ensuring we have sufficient credit lines and a balanced maturity profile. This ensures we are always able to refinance our financial resources. Our financing agreements contain neither financial covenants nor ratings-related termination rights.



Consolidated financial statements

In 2023, Haniel is systematically continuing its transformation in a challenging macroeconomic environment and realigning its Supervisory Board and Management Board for the future. At the same time, the company reports an increase in revenue, but its operating performance falls short of its own expectations.

Overview of the consolidated financial statements 2023
Revenue EUR 4,431 million
Operating profit (EBITA) EUR 270 million
Profit after taxes EUR -75 million
Capital expenditure EUR 468 million
Total assets EUR 6,468 million
Employees, annual average (headcount) 21,915
Business numbers Dow Jones


Creditor Relations

Find all information about Haniel's financing options as well as current ratings, creditor updates and further downloads.

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How we live enkelfähig

Our enkelfähig culture: diverse, entrepreneurial and performance-oriented.

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Doing what's right

No enkelfähig business model without compliance and integrity. Learn more about the Haniel Code of Ethics, our commitment to respect human rights and ways to report a concern.

Tradition of transformation


Portrait Aletta Haniel

With more than 265 years of history, Haniel is one of the oldest family-owned companies in Germany.


Founder's certificate

On February 10, 1756, Frederick II, King of Prussia, personally signs a leasehold agreement for three plots of land outside the Ruhrort city walls. This entitles the local customs supervisor Jan Willem Noot to build a "Packhaus" which, in addition to storing tea, coffee, cotton and spices (so-called "colonial goods"), also serves as a residence for him and his family. Thus, 1756 becomes the founding year of the company, as the Packhaus becomes the nucleus of the later Haniel businesses. 


Marriage Noot & Haniel

In November 1761, Aletta, the eldest daughter of Jan Willem Noot, marries the Duisburg wine merchant Jacob Wilhelm Haniel. During the marriage, which lasted 21 years, Aletta gave birth to eleven children, only four of whom reached adulthood. Johannes Franziscus was born on November 27, 1776. He is later known by the first name Franz and would lead his family's company to international success. 


Trade in wine and colonial goods

When Jan Willem Noot dies, his daughter Aletta and her husband Jacob Wilhelm Haniel take over the Ruhrort Packhaus in 1772. The former warehouse and residential building is now run as a trading house for the first time. Wine trading and forwarding of a general nature now form the main business of the Jacob W. Haniel company.


Jacob Wilhelm Haniel dies, Aletta continues the business

After the death of her husband in 1782, Aletta Haniel continues the wine trade and general forwarding business under the company name J.W. Haniel seel.Wittib. In 1792, Aletta took over the forwarding of iron goods from the St. Antony ironworks near Osterfeld. By 1795, business with the neighboring Neu-Essen and Gute Hoffnung ironworks was added. In 1796, Aletta Haniel becomes a partner in the coal trading company J.G. Müser & Comp. and was responsible for the forwarding of coal.


Franz Haniel founds a company for coal trading

At the age of 26 and 21, Aletta's youngest sons, Gerhard and Franz, make their first entrepreneurial attempts. Franz Haniel writes in his biography: "At the beginning of this century, I also started the hard coal business in my own name." At the same time, the family enters into strategic alliances: Franz's sister Sophia marries Gottlob Jacobi in 1800. He managed the Neu-Essen and St. Antony ironworks for the Essen princess-abbess Maria Kunigunde and held a quarter stake in each of them.


Foundation of JHH

In 1805, Gerhard and Franz buy Maria Kunigunde's shares in the Neu-Essen and St. Antony ironworks and found a steelworks company with their brother-in-law Jacobi. In 1806 and 1807, the Haniel brothers marry into the Huyssen family in Essen. Their new brother-in-law Heinrich Huyssen becomes the fourth partner in the new iron and steelworks and trading company Jacobi, Haniel & Huyssen (JHH): in 1808 he takes the opportunity to buy the Gute Hoffnung ironworks from Amalie Krupp and bring it into the family business. In the same year Franz becomes interested in Ruhr mining. In 1809, Aletta retires at the age of 67. She had been active as an entrepreneur for 27 years. 


Aletta dies

On May 11, 1815, Aletta Haniel dies in the Ruhrort Packhaus at the age of 73. The church register records "debilitation" as the cause of death. Her estate is divided among her children Sophia, Gerhard and Franz Haniel. The eldest brother Wilhelm inherits nothing - presumably because he had already been compensated in 1809. One year later, the Ruhrort Packhaus is auctioned off among the three siblings. Franz wins the bid for 10,000 reichstaler. 


Construction of a steamship yard in Ruhrort

In 1829, under the direction of the Englishman Nicholas Oliver Harvey, the JHH builds a hall for the construction of steamships and a workshop for steam boiler construction in Ruhrort. Just one year later, the "City of Mainz" is launched as the first steamship built in a Rhenish shipyard.


First vertical shaft in the Ruhr area

In 1834, Franz Haniel succeeds for the first time in penetrating the thick layer of marl covering the hard coal reserves of the northern Ruhr area, and extracting bituminous coal. However, the coal seam, only 40 cm thick, in the vertical shaft in Essen Borbeck, at a depth of 54 meters, yields little coal. But Franz is not discouraged by this. Three years later, in August 1837, his miners in the Kronprinz shaft in Essen come across an economically productive seam of bituminous coal beneath the marl layer. 


First company health insurance fund

In September 1837, Franz Haniel signs the statutes of what is probably the first corporate health insurance fund initiated by a company in Germany. JHH sets it up for its workers at the Ruhrort shipyard. In 1847, Franz Haniel also establishes a "support fund for sick workers" for the forwarding company Franz Haniel (ca. 1802 - 1870). By way of comparison, it was not until 1884 that Chancellor Bismarck introduced statutory health insurance for workers across Germany. After more than 150 years of independence, the Haniel health insurance fund would be merged into BKK Ruhrgebiet (today's BKK vor Ort) on January 1, 2001. 


Construction of the Eisenheim workers' housing estate

From 1844, the Eisenheim workers' housing estate for the employees of JHH is being built in what would later become Oberhausen. It is the first workers' settlement in the Ruhr region. Around 1900, approximately 1,200 people live in Eisenheim. When the settlement, in need of renovation, is to be demolished in the early 1970s, its residents found one of the first citizens' movements in the Ruhr area. Today, the preserved houses are listed as historic buildings.


Coal mine Zollverein

After four years of sinking and construction work, the Zollverein mine in Essen begins production on March 1, 1851. Just 35 years later, in 1888, the mine founded by Franz Haniel achieves the highest production rate in the Ruhr region with around 2,000 employees and 879,887 tons of coal. Today, Zollverein is an architectural and industrial monument and has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2001.


Formation of the general partnership Franz Haniel & Co.

After Franz Haniel's death in 1868, his descendants - above all his eldest son Hugo - are challenged to find new structures. The strong growth of the company and the group of shareholders and the industrial progress finally leads to the steelworks Jacobi, Haniel & Huyssen becoming a stock corporation. Thus the "Actienverein" Gutehoffnungshütte is formed. The Ruhrort company Franz Haniel becomes a general partnership. 


Foundation of FHC and separation of capital and management

Franz Haniel & Cie. GmbH is founded in 1917. It bundles the trading and transport interests of Gutehoffnungshütte (GHH) and the family-owned mines. With Dr. Johann Wilhelm Welker from Bochum, a non-family member takes over the management of the company for the first time. A good choice: For 27 years, he will successfully manage the company and, in particular, expand the coal trading and shipping businesses. The principle of appointing management of the company outside the family has endured to this day.


Haniel in the Second World War

During the Second World War, Haniel's headquarters in Ruhrort are badly hit by several bombing raids. A large part of Haniel's fleet is sunk and, at the end of the war, operations have to be almost completely shut down except for the national coal trade. Haniel and GHH operations employ at least 32,000 forced laborers in the period from 1939 to 1945, about 200 of them at the parent company in Ruhrort. In 1944, Dr. Johann Wilhelm Welker retires as managing director of Franz Haniel & Cie. He is succeeded by Werner Dietrich Ahlers and Alfred Graf von Waldersee, who hold almost equal positions until 1959.


Gas stations and building materials trade

Haniel adapts to the new situation in post-war Germany and to reconstruction. The company increases its investments in the construction and fuel trade. Haniel's Rheinpreußen petrol stations are particularly successful. While 242 service stations are already open in March 1950, their number more than doubles in just one year to a network of over 557 stations throughout Germany. 



Once again, Haniel adapts to the circumstances of the time: After the sale of the Rheinpreussen fuel business, investments begin in the demands of modern consumer society - and especially in the Metro "Cash & Carry" model. In 1963 and 1964, the first two Metro stores are opened in Essen and Mülheim. This is followed by Haniel's participation in the construction of the Metro facility in Berlin-Tiergarten. In 1966, three more Metro companies are founded in Hamburg, Munich and Cologne.


Withdrawal from the coal, steel and mining industries

Haniel recognizes the effects of structural change early on and begins to withdraw from mining and the coal and steel industry. After the first shares in the mining sector are sold in 1959, the majority of the GHH shares and thus the coal and steel industry are transferred to Motorenwerke Augsburg Nürnberg (MAN) at the beginning of 1970. In 1975, Haniel sells its very last mining shares. By 1985, the last 9.6% of GHH is also sold.  Thus, by 1985 at the latest, the complete exit from mining and the coal and steel industry has been completed.


Acquisition of CWS

First circular business models: Haniel acquires the Swiss company CWS in October 1981. It equips toilets with cloth towel dispensers and offers a washing service for the towel rolls. The company also rents dust control mats that help reduce cleaning costs in buildings. In the following decades, CWS expands its product range in the areas of sustainable workwear and fire protection.


Acquisition of Kaiser+Kraft

Kaiser + Kraft GmbH, based in Stuttgart, is acquired in July 1985. The specialist mail order company for office and business equipment has subsidiaries in England, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Switzerland and Austria. In 1999 Kaiser + Kraft is merged into the mail order group Takkt AG. Takkt subsequently expands in North America and expands its product range for the restaurant and hotel market as well as the retail trade. 


Sale of the fleet to Imperial

After more than 200 years, Haniel disengages from shipping as of January 1, 2000, giving 51 percent of Haniel Reederei to Imperial Logistics International GmbH & Co. KG. The exit is finalized on December 30, 2002, when Imperial Logistics takes over the remaining stake in Haniel Reederei Holding GmbH. For the first time since the end of the 18th century, Haniel ships are no longer to be seen on the Rhine and Ruhr.


First steps towards enkelfähig

Sustainability becomes the guiding principle for Haniel's entrepreneurial activities. The goal is to be one of the leading family-owned companies in this field by 2020. "Enkelfähigkeit" becomes the new word for what has actually been the company's aspiration for centuries. The aim is to create economic value and strengthen social equity in order to give subsequent generations the same opportunities.

Since 2014

Portfolio Transformation

Haniel begins the transformation towards a more diversified portfolio and sells Celesio (2014), the Metro shares (from 2015) and ELG (2021). New companies are added: Bekaert(Deslee) (2015), Optimar (2017), Rovema (2017), Emma (2020), Bauwatch (2021) and KMK kinderzimmer (2021). Haniel only invests in companies that, in addition to the expected returns on the portfolio, also make a positive contribution to a future worth living.

Since 2019

Intensification of the enkelfähig transformation

Haniel is initiating the "enkelfähig" transformation within the company: The Haniel Operating Way (HOW) – a group-wide operating system – is introduced, as well as a diverse, entrepreneurial and performance-oriented culture. The Haniel holding company is being restructured, which also includes the transformation to a NewWork environment.

Since 2021

Social Responsibility 2.0

Haniel continues its social engagement, which has been active  since its beginnings, especially at its home district Duisburg-Ruhrort: The Impact Factory at Franz-Haniel-Platz, founded in 2019, is a German leader in building sustainable and at the same time economically successful startups with impact. In 2021, Haniel launches the initiative "UrbanZero - Ruhrort becomes enkelfähig" with HeimatERBE and greenzero.me with the aim of making the district the first environmentally neutral neighborhood in the world and thus a blueprint for Enkelfähigkeit in the urban space.


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