Franz Haniel & Cie. GmbH manages a portfolio of independent companies with the goal to create value for generations as Europe's leading purpose-driven investor. To this, Haniel aligns its portfolio strictly "enkelfähig,” i.e.: along clear sustainability and performance criteria.  In 2021, the Haniel Group employed 20,700 people and generated sales of EUR 3.7 billion. The company is 100 percent family-owned and has been based in Duisburg since its foundation in 1756. 


Success through sustainability

With our enkelfähig approach, we want to show that sustainable business models are not only profitable, but actually perform better in the long term than non-sustainable business models.

Our picture of a future worth living is based on value creation that is in harmony with environmental protection and serves the well-being of all. We live up to our social responsibility and strike a balance between tradition and innovation. This is what makes us enkelfähig.

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 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 by a diverse Leadership Team. In addition to the Executive Board, the Investment Committee consists of three Investment Partners and our Chief People and Strategy Officer. The members of the Investment Committee bring different personal strengths, perspectives and professional experiences to the table - the best prerequisites for making the right decisions on our enkelfähig journey.



Management Team

has been CEO of Haniel since July 2019. He was appointed to the Management Board in 2017 and was also CEO of Haniel's portfolio company CWS until mid-2019. The engineering graduate began his career in 1996 with various positions at the US group General Electric (GE). Schmidt subsequently moved to TE Connectivity in mid-2008 and became President of TE Industrial in July 2010. Thomas Schmidt is Chairman of the Supervisory Board of TAKKT AG, member of the advisory board of the non-profit organization ForTomorrow and volunteers on the board of the AllBright Foundation.

Thomas Schmidt


has been CFO of Haniel since September 2011. Florian Funck, who holds a PhD in business administration, began his career at the Haniel Holding Company in 1999. In June 2004, he was appointed to the TAKKT Managing Board in Stuttgart, where he was responsible for Controlling and Finance. Florian Funck is a member of the Supervisory Boards of CECONOMY AG, TAKKT AG and Vonovia SE.

Dr. Florian Funck


has been Chief People & Strategy Officer and a member of the Investment Committee of Haniel since April 2022. After studying electrical engineering and information technology at the Technical University of Munich and completing an industrial doctorate at Volkswagen, Katharina Peterwerth joined McKinsey in 2008 – focusing on strategy consulting, organizational development and product development. At the end of 2018, she returned to Wolfsburg, where she headed organizational development for the VW Group for almost four years. Katharina Peterwerth is a mother of three and is, among other things, involved in the mentoring program of the TU Munich by alumni for students.

Dr. Katharina Peterwerth

Chief People & Strategy Officer

has been Investment Partner and a member of the Investment Committee of Haniel since March 2022. She is responsible for the investment area "Progress" with a focus on robotics and automation. Thessa von Hülsen, who graduated in economics, previously was Head of HR Strategy at Deutsche Börse Group and, directly before joining Haniel, led the planned IPO of a private equity held company in Munich. From 2010 to 2017, she worked for UniCredit Bank AG, last heading the corporate banking executive staff. Prior to her career in banking, Thessa spent over eight years in private equity at Silverfleet Capital, a London-based mid-cap fund. She specialized in automotive suppliers, building on 4,5 years of experience in strategy consulting.

Thessa von Hülsen

Investment Partner

Picture showing Marion Oswald (Haniel)

has been an Investment Partner and member of the Investment Committee of Haniel since June 2020. After completing a banking apprenticeship and studying economics, Marion Oswald began her career at private equity investor Advent International in 1999. In 2016, she moved to The Cranemere Group, an Anglo-Saxon investment holding company with a long-term focus, for which she last served as managing director. At Haniel, she is responsible for special projects in the "Transformation" portfolio segment.

Marion Oswald

Investment Partner

has been an Investment Partner and member of the Investment Committee of Haniel since November 2020. He leads the investment teams "People" and "Planet" and is responsible for the respective origination and execution as well as for our portfolio companies BekaertDeslee, BauWatch and KMK Kinderzimmer. Previously, Stefan Zobel was a partner at Montagu Private Equity, a British financial investor with EUR 10 billion in assets under management.

Stefan Zobel

Investment Partner

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

Business Administration Graduate (HTW Dresden)

Doreen Nowotne


  • Prof. Dr. Kay Windthorst, 
  • Deputy Chairman, university professor
  • Dr. Stephan Glander,
  • Diplom-Chemiker (degree in chemistry)
  • Mathias Pahl,
    Managing director

    Dr. Thomas Vollmoeller,
    Independent consultant

    Maximilian Schwaiger,
    Diplom-Kaufmann (degree in business administration)

Gerd Herzberg
Deputy Chairman
Former Trade Union Secretary ver.di
Federal Executive Board

  • René Albersmeyer
    Regional Key Account Manager FM
    CWS-boco Deutschland GmbH

Ralf Fritz
Franz Haniel & Cie. GmbH

Lutz Leischner
Mathematics Graduate
CWS-boco Supply Chain Management GmbH

Dirk Patermann
CHairman of the General Works Council
CWS Hygiene Deutschland GmbH

  • Miriam Bürger
    Trade Union Secretary
    IG Metall

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 the 2021 financial year, Haniel achieved important milestones on its way to becoming an enkelfähig company and Europe's leading purpose-driven investor: The company made significant progress in the portfolio restructuring, acquired two new businesses, BauWatch and KMK kinderzimmer, and completed the divestment process for ELG. The joint management model HOW has been established in all business units, which has already resulted in significant productivity gains. Haniel also continued to build a performance-oriented, entrepreneurial and diverse culture, among other things by increasing the proportion of women in the management team and establishing a compliance management system. The company significantly increased its revenue and operating profit and exceeded its targets.


Overview of the consolidated financial statements 2021
Revenue EUR 3,676 million
Operating profit (EBITA) EUR 276 million
Earnings before taxes EUR 265 million
Earnings after taxes EUR 175 million
Investments EUR 822 million
Balance sheet total EUR 6,303 million
Employees, annual average (headcount) 20,715

Haniel issuer ratings

Rating agency Rating type Rating Outlook Last change
Moody's Investor Service long-term Baa3 stable outlook 25.04.2018
Scope Ratings long-term BBB- stable outlook 23.02.2016

CP programme

The CP programme allows Haniel to issue commercial paper simply and efficiently through standardised documentation.


  Commercial Paper Programme
Issuers Franz Haniel & Cie. GmbH
Guarantor Franz Haniel & Cie. GmbH
Volume of the programme EUR 500,000,000
Arrangers Deutsche Bank AG, Goldman Sachs International
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Creditor Relations Newsletter


Your contact


Joined in 2002

Previously: EBS University of Business and Law

Dr. Axel Gros

Head of Finance and Treasury


Joined in 2022

Previously: Deutsche Bank AG, Spotcap Global Services GmbH, Deutsche Handelsbank AG

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, ETH Zürich, University of Regensburg

Caroline Bezwald

Business Partner Financing & Bank Relationship

Business numbers Dow Jones

Creditor Relations


Find the annual reports, information on shareholdings, subgroup financial statements, creditor updates and sustainability reports here.

Transformation is tradition

Haniel History

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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Press releases

Duisburg, 9 May 2022. Franz Haniel & Cie. GmbH (“Haniel”) has agreed with Pan-European private equity firm Silverfleet Capital and management on the…

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Duisburg, Hamburg, 16 June 2021. Franz Haniel & Cie GmbH ("Haniel") has agreed on a long-term partnership with Karina and Melf Kruse, the founders and…

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Duisburg, May 6, 2021 – Franz Haniel & Cie GmbH (“Haniel”) continues with its portfolio transformation and has signed a Share Purchase Agreement with…

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Haniel Museum in the historic Packhaus

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Aerial view headquarters

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Thomas Schmidt

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Dr Florian Funck

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Franz Haniel

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Aletta Haniel

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Joined in 2019

Previously: CECONOMY AG, JP|KOM GmbH, Commerzbank AG, Philips, Handelsblatt

Osnabrück University, ESCEM School of Business and Management Poitiers/Tours, Georg von Holtzbrinck-Schule für Wirtschaftsjournalisten

Simone Fuchs

Head of Communications