Schleswig-Holstein’s economy is strongly maritime and characterised by tourism – thanks to its location between the North Sea and the Baltic Sea. However, successful companies from other sectors have also settled in the area around Hamburg. Here we present three hidden champions from Schleswig-Holstein in more detail: The presented companies belong to the largest companies in Schleswig-Holstein.
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1. Basler AG, Ahrensburg: €170 million in sales
“Vision Technology” forms the business model of Basler AG in Ahrensburg just outside Hamburg. This is understood to mean “machine vision”. The core business comprises digital cameras for industrial and medical applications as well as for traffic control systems including network cameras. Basler cameras are used in factory automation, ATMs and self-service machines, laboratory equipment, microscopy and ophthalmology. The company has additional locations in Germany in Neumünster (Schleswig-Holstein) and in Mannheim, as well as in the USA, in the People’s Republic of China, in Taiwan, South Korea, Japan and Singapore. The majority of shares (52 percent) is held by the company founder Norbert Basler, one third of the shares are free float.
2. ACO Severin Ahlmann GmbH & Co. KG, Büdelsdorf: 900 million euros in sales
On the site of an iron foundry in Büdelsdorf on the Kiel Canal, Josef-Severin Ahlmann founded a company in 1946 to manufacture concrete products for construction. Over the decades, this developed into today’s ACO Group. It manufactures construction elements made of polymer concrete, stainless steel, cast iron and plastic. Fields of application are civil engineering, building construction, gardening and landscaping, agricultural construction, waste water infrastructure and building services. ACO is considered the world market leader in drainage solutions. The ACO Severin Ahlmann GmbH & Co. KG acts as the holding umbrella for the group companies. ACO has 30 production sites in 15 countries and employs around 5,000 people worldwide. The company is owner-managed and family-owned.
3. Minimax GmbH & Co. KG, Bad Oldesloe: 1.7 billion euro turnover
Minimax is a leading company in the field of fire protection with a total of around 9,000 employees. Extinguishing systems and extinguishing equipment form the core business. The company’s history began in 1902 in Berlin with the Minimax pointed bag, a patented fire extinguisher. In 1905, production was relocated to Neuruppin. As early as 1906, the company was able to produce 65,000 fire extinguishers per year. The destruction of the war and expropriation forced a new start in the West in 1945. A new factory was started in Bad Urach near Stuttgart, and in 1966 the headquarters were moved to Bad Oldesloe. In 1969, the company was taken over by the PREUSSAG Group (today: TUI). Since 2018, the financial investor ICG and the management have been Minimax owners.
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