Dirk Rossmann GmbH – Growth with courage and persistence

The origins of Dirk Rossmann GmbH can be traced back to the drugstore founded by the present managing director’s grandfather in Hanover in 1908. In 1972, Dirk Rossmann had the idea of developing that business into an entire network of self-service drugstores, and has since then ranked as the inventor of drugstore chains. Following rapid growth, reaching sales of around 50 million Euros in 1979, the equity ratio fell to below 20 percent. Dirk Rossmann then decided to call in the HANNOVER Finanz Group to strengthen his business for further expansion.

Today, the Rossmann company is one of Europe's largest drugstore chains, with over 40,000 employees and more than 3,000 sales outlets. The group's sales amount to over € 8 billion. Since 2015, the second generation of the Rossmann family has also been involved in the management of the business.

The results

The partnership with the HANNOVER Finanz Group has ensured that the company remains independent and Dirk Rossmann retains his entrepreneurial freedom. In this period, the business has been able to

  • increase sales twenty-fold,
  • establish the necessary purchasing power,
  • construct an innovative administration and logistics centre,
  • keep the merchandise management system, the data processing organization and the controlling system fully up to date,
  • generate sound, sustainable growth.

The partnership

The HANNOVER Finanz Group acquired an interest in the Rossmann company in 1980. Further increases in share capital increased that holding from the initial 10 to 38 percent. The sound equity capital ratio strengthened Dirk Rossmann GmbH for its expansion in Germany and into the eastern European countries.

In 2002, after 22 years of partnership and constant growth, the HANNOVER Finanz Group sold its holding with the entrepreneur’s consent. 40 percent was acquired by the international drugstore chain A.S. Watson, a subsidiary of the Hong Kong based conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa. Dirk Rossmann currently holds 60 percent of the shares.

The entrepreneur’s view

Dirk Rossmann: “To me, the decision to take in a financially strong partner was an obvious consequence of our rapid expansion. At that time it was highly important to me to put this development on a sound financial footing. In contrast to taking on further shareholders, the investment by HANNOVER Finanz was the right decision for me.

Thanks to the improved equity capital ratio, we were able to push ahead with our strategy. The partnership with HANNOVER Finanz proved especially successful during the company’s stormy expansion phase which followed German reunification. I have never regretted the decision I took to make HANNOVER Finanz a partner in my business, either from a commercial or a personal point of view.”