100 YEARS KLÖCKNER & CO
Klöckner & Co – the largest mill-independent steel and metal distributor in the whole European and North American market – celebrates its centenary in 2006. The core business of the Klöckner & Co Group is the stockholding and distribution of steel and non-ferrous metals. About 200,000 active customers are served through about 240 sales units in 14 European countries and in North America. With about 10,000 employees, the enterprise achieved a turnover of about five billion euros in the financial year 2005 and, since 28th June 2006 – exactly 100 years after its foundation – it has been listed on the stock exchange. Since its foundation, the company's headquarters have been based in the City of Duisburg in Germany.
For more than a hundred years now, trade has been the main activity of Klöckner & Co. Here, the core competence right from the start was in the distribution of steel and metals. In addition, over the last 100 years, there have also been diversifications in the range of trading activities. Thus, the company traded at times in crude oil, chemicals and building materials, was active in the field of transport and constructed industrial plants all over the world.
The firms Klöckner Werke AG, also founded by Peter Klöckner (in 1923), and Klöckner Humboldt Deutz AG - now Deutz AG - (founded 1938) were for many years closely associated with Klöckner & Co. Today these companies are legally and commercially independent and have no company law connection with the Klöckner & Co Group.
The strength of Klöckner & Co has always been its closeness to the customer. In its foundation year 1906, the first branches were already opened in Cologne und Düsseldorf. In the 1920s and 1930s, the trading enterprise founded its first branches in Europe, South and North America and established its own foreign operations department. After the death of Peter Klöckner in 1940, his heirs, the Henle family, managed the firm. Under their management, after the legal separation from Klöckner-Werke AG and Klöckner Humboldt Deutz AG in the 1950s, Klöckner & Co developed into a strongly diversified trading enterprise, while steel and metal trading remained the core business. Since the end of the 1960s, the firm has deliberately expanded its stockholding steel trade and, in the 1970s, opened the first Steel Service Centre. Orientation to the wishes of the customer and partnership with suppliers became its guiding principle.
In the late 1980s, with the new owner VIAG AG, came an incisive restructuring. In the 1990s, under the new management, Klöckner & Co developed into a modern international distribution specialist, active in the chemicals and computer sectors, among others.
Since 1998, the firm has concentrated again on its traditional core business, the steel and metals trade, and has developed into a modern multi metal distributor. Today, the Klöckner & Co Group works actively for its customers with its own subsidiaries in all the major markets of Europe and North America.
Owned by Lindsay, Goldberg & Bessemer since the end of 2004, the company has been launched on the stock exchange exactly 100 years after its foundation. Lindsay, Goldberg & Bessemer continues to hold the majority of shares. The stock exchange launch sets a clear sign: In times of accelerated consolidation in the steel and steel trading sector, Klöckner & Co intends to further expand its leading position as an international distribution group and, in this way, to continue its 100-year success story.