From the start, this family-owned company's nearly 125 years of history have been closely tied to the overall economic development of its core markets and sector-specific business trends in the chemical and machine building industries.
A review of its business reports, archived starting in 1966 and running through the present, and the sketches of the economic environment in which the company was working (composed by Dr. Jörg Lesczenski, historian) reveals the economic cycles, growing global interdependence of the national economies and the growth of new boom regions that presented increasing challenges in the last third of the twentieth century for Messer Griesheim GmbH, founded in 1965, and which still significantly shape the development of Messer today.
It is against this background of general economic conditions that the distinctive characteristics of the Messer story become clear: a parallel thread of exciting insights into the company's strategic decisions to take advantage of market opportunities in a fast-changing world economy since the late 1960s, as well as in the overly hasty expansion strategies that in the 1990s led Messer to the edge of ruin. A view is also given on the determination and ultimately successful effort by portions of the founding family to return the entire corporate group to the family's possession in 2004, and to assert themselves as an owner-operated company within a globalised economy.
For today's management at Messer SE & Co. KGaA, learning from the past means first and foremost preserving the corporate culture of a family-owned company for the long term, remaining financially independent and relying on long-term strategy to promote development of the corporate group.
You are welcome to use our historical example for your own purposes. Please simple always cite the Messer SE & Co. KGaA as the editor and Dr. Jörg Lesczenski as the author.