Germany: GrainCorp sells German malt business

Australia's largest grain handler and the world’s fifth largest malting company GrainCorp, has sold its German malt business, called Schill Malz together with its subsidiary Rhein-Ruhr Malz to local malting company Bamberger Malz at an undisclosed sum. The latter comes from the self-proclaimed “true capital of beers” Bamberg and runs two malthouses in Bavaria (Bamberg and Neuburg/Donau) with a combined capacity of about 100,000 tons. Together with the two GrainCorp malthouses in Worms and Mülheim/Ruhr, the company more than doubles its capacity to about 220,000 tons per year and becomes one of the leading malting groups in Germany.

According to today’s press release, Bamberger hopes through the transaction to gain better access to international raw materials supply and global brewing groups. Additionally, Bamberger intends to strengthen its domestic business with a well-balanced geographical portfolio of the 4 plants in Germany.

Bamberger is still 100% owned by the descendants of the families, who founded the company in 1888 and is run by the employed managing directors Markus Burteisen and Rudi Gläser. Currently, the company sells 75% of its malts in the south of Germany with the remainder being exported mainly to the neighboring countries Austria, Switzerland and Italy.

Although Bamberger is the bigger of the two Bamberg based malthouses, most people especially from outside of Germany know much better the smaller Weyermann Malz, which runs a specialty malt business with clients all over the world.

Schill Malz sells through the water-based location of its two malthouses along the Rhine line more than 50% of its production to overseas customers and compliments very well Bamberger’s mostly domestic business in the south of Germany.

When Schill Malz and its two subsidiaries Rhein-Ruhr-Malz and Thüringer Malz were bought by GrainCorp in 2011, the company operated 4 malthouses in Germany with a combined capacity of about 190,000 tons.  By the end of 2014, the plant in Sangerhausen/Sachsen-Anhalt was closed and two years later the plant in Clingen/Thuringia (Thüringer Malz) was sold to Weyermann Malz (, 15.12.2016).

People familiar with the matter claim, that GrainCorp never fully understood the fragmented malt and beer industry in Germany and was not able to integrate the only business unit within their network from a country, whose language is not English. Therefore it did not come to a surprise that the company was seeking an exit from the German market and commissioned RaboBank last year to find an investor for the remaining plants (, 11.5.2017).

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