maxingvest ag

Press Releases

Hamburg, 6 July 2014

Tchibo Holding AG’s New Name: maxingvest ag

All motions passed at the annual general meeting

At Tchibo Holding AG’s annual general meeting on 05 July 2007, a new name was decided upon for the holding, with the aim of making its assignment and function more clearly evident. The use of “Tchibo” as part of the name of the company and for one of its subgroups had often resulted in one company being equated with the other, and the holding’s majority stake in Beiersdorf AG was often relegated to the background. From now on the company will do business as maxingvest ag, Hamburg. The name is a reference to Max and Ingeburg Herz, the company’s founding couple. It empha­sises the family-owned nature of the company, which goes along with values including long-view invest­ments, sustained value creation, care for employee welfare, and strong ties to customers and the region.


A name born of tradition

All the other items on the annual general meeting agenda were also settled: a €10 dividend payout on 4.8 million no-par shares, or €48 million of the balance sheet profit, which in 2006 amounted to approx­i­mately €273.36 million; discharge granted to the executive and super­visory boards; and auditors selected for the 2007 financial year.


The founders’ names are also found in the name of the Max and Ingeburg Herz Foundation, Hamburg. The foundation is dedicated mainly to science, research and education, and provides support to seniors and teens, as well as to charity projects. Ingeburg Herz and the foundation, together with Michael and Wolfgang Herz, own 85 % of the Holding, while approx. 15 % of its equity is owned by Joachim Herz.

The colours of the new logo symbolise the business done by the brands in the holding: sunny yellow for coffee and enjoyment, ocean blue for the realm of personal care and beauty.


The holding’s assignment

The holding’s assignment and structure remain unchanged under the new name. The executive board, whose members are Dr. Arno Mahlert (chairman) and Yves Müller, is respon­sible for the super­vision and consistent steering of the companies in the holding. The board is assisted in its work by the corporate planning and reporting, legal and auditing depart­ments. The holding also provides tax and finance services to Tchibo GmbH.


Dr. Arno Mahlert was appointed chairman of the Tchibo GmbH super­visory board at its meeting on 04 July 2007.


Turnover of €9 billion and 30,000 employees

Last year, the company now known as maxingvest ag generated revenue of €9.038 billion (previous year: €8.788 billion), net income including special items increased to €1.065 billion (previous year: €0.507 billion), the equity ratio rose to 54 % (previous year: 48 %), and the EBIT return on sales to 11.8 % (previous year: €9.9 %). The company has nearly 30,000 employees worldwide.


Max and Ingeburg: The Legend
The holding’s new appel­lation is derived from the names ‘Max’ and ‘Ingeburg’ Herz. Max Herz was born in Hamburg in 1905. A raw-coffee merchant by training, as a young man he quickly came to command a great deal of respect among the Hanseatic city’s merchants, having managed to put his father Walter Herz’ raw-coffee import firm back on its feet after it had nearly failed as a result of the global economic crisis in 1929. However, the real turnaround in the company’s economic fortunes occurred after World War II. Herz joined forces with Carl Tchilinghiryan to set up the “Frisch-Röst-Kaffee Carl Tchilling GmbH” in 1949. Max Herz was initially the main share­holder, and became the company’s sole share­holder by the end of 1951. His very first business model became a resounding success: He offered his merchandise for mail order and found the demand was so high he actually experi­enced delivery bottle­necks in his first year in business. He intro­duced the individual-roasting process: each coffee variety in a given blend was first roasted separately, according to its own ideal roast time. While this was more expensive, it also guaranteed unprece­dented quality. Later, Max Herz intro­duced the “factory outlet” sales concept, selling coffee right next door to the coffee-roasting facility on Hoheluftchaussee. His wife Ingeburg remembers: “The coffee packets seemed to fly off the shelves; we did every­thing at a run, bringing new merchandise from the roasting plant. Of course I was working right alongside everyone else, ten hours a day and more……“


In the years after the war, the couple and their 5 children lived on Unnas­trasse, diago­nally across from Beiersdorf AG, which today is majority owned by the maxingvest ag family holding.


Innovation as a basic principle
Things began to happen very quickly from this point on. In 1955, the company moved to what was then Europe’s most state-of-the-art coffee-trading house. The building in the Caffamacher­reihe united every­thing under one roof from the raw coffee warehouses to the mail-order post office; this is also where the first Tchibo shop opened its doors. Three years later, the number of shops had grown to 77. In the first few years of ‘setting up shops’, Max Herz and his wife would jointly scout out possible locations throughout West Germany. In 1965 – upon his sudden and untimely death – the company already had 427 shops and 434 depots.


During this entire time, Ingeburg Herz was his closest confi­dante and advisor. He consulted with her about his new ideas and projects – and above all she was his most expert link to the customer. To this day, Tchibo’s founder can be seen shopping at her neigh­bourhood Tchibo shop each week.


Max Herz was also the initiator of a mail-order customers’ magazine, which he described as a source of infor­mation and enter­tainment; today, this type of media is known as ‘corporate publishing’. A legendary adver­tising figure was created in the person of Mr. Pithey. Unfail­ingly clad in a respectable dark suit and a bowler hat, Tchibo’s coffee expert travelled to planta­tions in the coffee-growing countries, accom­panied the coffee on its transport ships, and was seen in the roasting facil­ities and at the shops.


Mr. Pithey was coffee expertise person­ified – a form of adver­tising that is only just being redis­covered today and is backed by research on the human brain: people tend to remember stories better. In 1963, additional sales outlets were set up in bakeries and pastry shops, with a standardised support programme for the cooper­ation partners, a highly unusual feature for the time, which made it an early form of franchising. From the beginning, Max Herz – who was always known by his initials M.H. in the company – rounded off the coffee range with coffee-related Non Food items, always meant as a surprise for his customers.


Max Herz categor­i­cally refused to be described as a protag­onist, pioneer, let alone a brilliant businessman; in this respect, he was the epitome of Hanseatic mercantile under­statement and reserve.


Press Enquiries

Arnd Liedtke,
Tchibo GmbH
Corporate Communications
Überseering 18
22297 Hamburg


Tel: (0 40) 63 87-21 24

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