At the vanguard of the energy turnaround
In the over 75-year history of the company Henkelhausen GmbH & Co. KG, Lutz Goebel is the fourth owner and is leading the experienced provider of all conceivable services in the area of engine and drive technology into the future. Since May 2011, the Krefeld entrepreneur has also been president of the Association of Family Businesses and knows how to make his voice heard in Berlin. "The world envies us for our family businesses. Yet it is large corporations that dominate media reports, and they often make negative headlines. We, on the other hand, have many positive stories to tell." One of these is the success story of his own company, which he took over in 1998. The company generated revenues of 43.8 million euros in 2011, plus 26.1 million euros from the wholly-owned service subsidiary, i.e., 70 million euros combined. 170 staff are employed at the business park in Krefeld-Linn, 35 of these are trainees. Twelve members of staff are older than 65. The oldest is 78 years old and top fit. As a salesman of replacement parts he knows most of the old replacement parts numbers by heart. When the law on improved tax deductions for social insurance contributions ("Bürgerentlastungsgesetz") was adopted in 2009, which allows contributions to the health and nursing care insurance funds to be fully tax-deductible, Goebel introduced a company pension scheme for his staff which gives them a monthly old-age pension of 158 euros on average without them being out of pocket by a single cent.
However, the real success stories concern the daily business on the market. Selling engines and servicing might not sound particularly exciting at first. But the list of customers is certainly impressive: Henkelhausen supplies and maintains engine solutions with demanding requirements, for example, for the Air Berlin aircraft tractors at Düsseldorf airport, for driving the huge excavators in brown coal mining, for track-laying trains and for the fire-fighting boat of the Duisburg fire brigade. These are all applications that place great demands on the drive systems and do not allow any down times. For this reason Henkelhausen only sells premium products of leading manufacturers, first and foremost DEUTZ-Motoren Köln and Motorenwerke Mannheim (MWM) as well as recently Motoren- und Turbinen-Union (MTU) and Volvo Penta.
The company was founded in 1936 by Arthur Henkelhausen. Willi Weesbach and later Hans-Joachim Hartges expanded the business as its new owners. 14 years ago, in 1998, Lutz Goebel and the Dutch investor Alpinvest took over the company. When Alpinvest divested, Lutz and Petra Goebel became the majority shareholders (55 percent) in 2003; Hannover Finanz holds the remaining shares. Lutz Goebel, who was born in 1955 in Siegen, comes from the Achenbach Buschhütten family of entrepreneurs from the Siegerland region. He studied engineering in Aachen and management (MBA) at the renowned business school INSEAD in Fontainebleau. After that he worked for the consultancy firm Arthur D. Little, and as sales director at the Austrian machine tool manufacturer Emco Maier. But then Goebel wanted to do something of his own. For three years he looked for a company that was for sale. He found what he was looking for in Krefeld.
Goebel is an entrepreneur through and through. Whereas Henkelhausen used to be a mere authorized dealer for Deutz and MWM engines, today the company offers solutions and an all-round service. The customers don't just want an engine and replacement parts, they demand ready-to-use aggregates that are custom-made and operational round the clock. Today the Henkelhausen Group looks after 20,000 engines, 1,000 emergency and standby power supply systems and 500 combined heat and power units. It also has 10,000 replacement parts on hand at its depot at all times and offers a 24-hour emergency service 365 days a year. With the German government's turnaround in energy policy, combined heat and power units, a relatively new field of business, are a growing trend. They generate electricity and heat and are powered by gas. This gives them an efficiency of 90 percent. Henkelhausen supplies the machines for biogas plants in the Lower Rhine region, for the digester gas system at the Düsseldorf wastewater treatment plant and on the landfill site in Neuss-Grefrath, as well as for methane gas in active and "dead" mines, amongst other things. Henkelhausen now generates over 30 percent of its revenues from self-made combined heat and power units, which are technically among the best on the market, and the accompanying servicing. Lutz Goebel doubled revenues in his Krefeld years. The company is now worth much more than when he took it over. Although he is well-travelled, he is very satisfied with Krefeld. The airport, the ICE stations and the Rhine ports are all quick to access. But even more important is the large metropolitan area with a large pool of highly skilled staff. The only snag is the frequent congestion on the A 57, especially when servicing is needed and things have to move fast.
Henkelhausen GmbH & Co. KG
Lutz Goebel, geschäftsführender Gesellschafter
Tel. 02151 574123
Fax 02151 574170