BÜFA GmbH & Co. KG – Passing on the baton

The BÜFA Group, founded in 1883 under the name of Büsing & Fasch, has remained an independent, medium-sized family business up to the present day. Thanks to a clever financial strategy and with the support of investors, the Oldenburg-based company bridged a gap in corporate succession for a period of 18 years. Together with the HANNOVER Finanz Group, the family is securing further growth and the repurchase of all the shares by the Wuppermann-Kolwey group of shareholders. Today, BÜFA employs over 500 people and is a global operator in the fields of chemicals trading, cleaning and hygiene, composite systems and machine technology. The Group's sales are around 200 million euros. Since 2013, the company has once again been completely restored to family ownership, with the family shareholders taking an active role. The operational business is looked after by a team of managers who have been associated with the business and the family for many years.

The results

The partnership with the HANNOVER Finanz Group allowed the company to replace a shareholder and complete the corporate succession within the family. In that period, the company was able to ...

  • press ahead with the expansion and reorientation of the group,
  • make acquisitions and sell shares in other companies,
  • develop new fields of business and generate sustainable growth, and
  • buy back all the minority shareholder's shares.

Jan Wuppermann, shareholder in BÜFA GmbH & Co. KG

The partnership

HANNOVER Finanz took on a minority holding of 25.1 percent of the shares in the BÜFA Group in 2013 by taking the place of another investor. At the same time, the Wuppermann-Kolwey family, now fifth generation owners of the business, built up their holding to an initial 74.9 percent. The healthy equity ratio created the necessary entrepreneurial independence for sustainable orientation of the family business to face the future. After ten years of close cooperation and after successive repurchasing of the shares by the family, the partnership with the HANNOVER Finanz Group ended, finally allowing the Wuppermann-Kolwey shareholder family to close the gap in the corporate succession.

The entrepreneur’s view

Jan Wuppermann: "Following the death of the patriarch, Johann Dietrich Kolwey, who had taken over the company from the founders Ludwig Büsing and Friedrich Fasch, his two grandchildren became the sole shareholders in 1966. In 1994, the grandson with the majority share left the company. His sister increased what had been her minority shareholding to 54 percent. The other shares were initially taken on by an investment company. When that company withdrew, we were able to increase our share again and chose HANNOVER Finanz as the new minority shareholder - especially, but not only, because of its willingness to enter into long-term partnerships. Only in that way were we able to ensure a sound equity capital base. Furthermore, we had the two representatives of HANNOVER Finanz on our Advisory Board as partners who thought strategically and out of the box. Indeed, our focus was on the development of long-term strategies. As our equity capital partner, they gave us the time to return the company gradually to family ownership and also to deal with succession in our management team."