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Hoffmeister back in the family

20 August 2009 10.00 BST


(Germany) - Hoffmeister Leuchten GmbH, based in Schalksmühle, Germany, has been brought back from the brink by a takeover from a partnership involving a member of the Hoffmeister family.

Oliver Hoffmeister, great-grandson of the company’s founder, and Jens G. Hanfland have bought all shares of the company from Philips. Hoffmeister Leuchten has seen several owners in the past twelve years. In the course of the takeover of the US lighting group GenLyte by Philips, Hoffmeister was part of the lighting branch of the Dutch corporation. Now the company returns into the possession of the family.

In announcing that they were winding down Hoffmeister earlier this year, Philips took an interest in maintaining the jobs at the company’s location in Schalksmühle. Hoffmeister and Hanfland’s concept provided for the takeover appeared to point out promising solutions and therefore prevailed against other alternatives.

Hoffmeister and Hanfland are happy about the decision in favour of their quotation. “We experienced Philips as a downright fair negotiating partner”, emphasised Hanfland.

Both new owners are convinced that with their concept they will be able to successfully continue the almost 100 year old company, despite the current difficult economic conditions. Hoffmeister stated: “The most important preconditions are given. We can build on the staff’s know-how, their commitment and the exceptional products.”

The new managing directors of Hoffmeister are not unknown to the lighting industry. Beside their commitment in Schalksmühle they are the owners and managing directors RSL Rodust + Sohn Lichttechnik GmbH, Sankt Augustin (Germany), a specialist lighting company. This offers opportunities for strategic alliances but the two companies are to operate separately on the market.

“Certainly, the markets for standard and special lighting are in some regards quite close,” explains Hoffmeister. “However, as interesting as this nearness might appear in terms of sales and distribution studying the markets closer shows, that alliances and co-operations are very advantageous, but nothing else. Basically it was a definite competitive advantage for sales and distribution to be able to offer now standard as well as special lighting. We are convinced that both companies will benefit thereof.”

Meanwhile opportunities for co-operations are not limited to joint sales and distribution. For example, RSL’s deep vertical production infrastructure can be made available for Hoffmeister products. “This provides flexibility, ensures delivery reliability and enhances added value”, explains Hanfland confidently. Yet the new owners are considering whether in the medium and long term it would make sense to manufacture on a large scale in Schalksmühle again. The factory currently has 90 employees.

www.hoffmeister.de

 

The employees of Hoffmeister, Photo: Markus Böker

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