Ludwig Merckle

About Ludwig Merckle

Birth Year: 1965
Birth Place: Ulm, Germany, Germany
Residence: Ulm, Germany
Occupation: Chairman, Merckle Group
Children: 2

Ludwig Merckle

Ludwig Merckle was born on 1965 in Ulm, Germany, Germany. After the death of Adolf Merckle in 2009 at the age of 74, his son Ludwig took the helm of an empire mired in crisis and debt. The downward spiral had come about unexpectedly, after secretive Adolf took a hit in the 2008 financial crisis. He'd taken out a loan to recapitalize HeidelbergCement, and used shares he owned in the company as collateral. After Heidelberg stock lost 75% of its value and banks demanded early repayment of the loan and additional collateral, Adolf committed suicide. Subsequently, Ludwig has restructured the group and executed an impressive turnaround. In the fall of 2009, he cut his stake in HeidelbergCement from 74% to 25%. The following year, he sold generic drug maker Ratiopharm to Teva Pharmaceuticals for $5 billion. It looked as if Phoenix Pharma Group might have to go on the block as well, given the extent of the liabilities Adolf had assumed in assembling the drug wholesaler through acquisitions, but the company was saved when banks came through with a syndicated loan facility. Now Phoenix, which also operates more than 1,580 retail pharmacies in 12 countries (many under the brand name BENU), is deleveraging and turning increasing profits. Merckle also owns the snowcat maker Kaessbohrer and 50% of an engine manufacturer, Zollern. He once said that he wished to maintain as much as possible of his father's "achievements." Other Merckle family members also hold significant portions of the family fortune, mostly through stakes in Phoenix.
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Ludwig Merckle started his career as a strategic consultant at Roland Berger in 1993. In 1995, he joined the family Business as an assistant manager. In 1997, he was promoted to CEO of Merckle GmbH, parent company of ratiopharm GmbH. In 2005, he was appointed CEO of VEM Vermögensverwaltung GmbH, and in 2009, CEO of Merckle Service GmbH, after his Father, Adolf Merckle, founder of the Merckle group, committed suicide and left the family group in debt.


In March 2010, the generic drugmaking arm of Merckle, Ratiopharm, was sold to Teva Pharmaceutical Industries for €3.6 billion, 55% of HeidelbergCement for €2.5 billion, and other assets to clear their debts.


According to Forbes, Merckle has a net worth of $5.6 billion, as of June 2016.

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