Germany: Künzel Acquired by Ziemann Holvrieka

Ziemann Holvrieka has broadened its capabilities for delivering comprehensive brewery solutions through the acquisition of majority share in Künzel Maschinenbau in Mainleus, Germany. Künzel is a prominent manufacturer renowned for its proficiency in malt management and grist mills, critical components for breweries. Since 1922, Künzel has played a significant role in the raw material handling sector.

Seller is Kaspar Schulz, the world's oldest brewery equipment manufacturer based in Bamberg, Germany. It’s only 5 years that Künzel became part of Kaspar Schulz but after the sudden departure of its managing partner Johannes Schulz-Hess a year ago the brewery equipment manufacturer is working on simplifying its structures. Schulz-Hess had led the company on an astonishing growth trajectory during his 15 years with the organization. In 2016, he acquired the Austrian Hinke Group, followed by the companies Künzel in 2018 and Esau&Hueber in 2020 (, 22.5.2020).

However, the rapid expansion was significantly slowed down by the COVID-19 pandemic, and Kaspar Schulz had to take a step back. It appears that the company Künzel has now become a casualty of this situation.

Künzel's specialization in the initial phases of the brewing process perfectly complements Ziemann Holvrieka’s existing product range, allowing the company to enrich the array of products and turnkey solutions. Moreover, the company intends to leverage Künzel's expertise across the group of companies, including Ziemann Holvrieka, to explore fresh opportunities for Künzel in diverse sectors.

The Mainleus facility will maintain its customary operations under the same management team and Künzel will continue to uphold its company name, brands, and organizational culture.

This acquisition seamlessly fits into the expansion strategy of China International Marine ContainersCo (CIMC), a Chinese company principally engaged in the manufacture and sale of transportation equipment, such as containers, road transport vehicles and airport ground-handling equipment.

  • CIMC has started its shopping tour in the brewing equipment and tank market in 2007 with the purchase of 80% equity of Dutch company Burg Industries, a manufacturer of trailers and truck bodies, tanks and apparatus. In 2009, the beer fermentation tank business of Holvrieka, a Dutch tank manufacturer that was established in 1947 and that was part of Burg’s business in Europe, was transferred to CIMC Enric, a Hong Kong Stock Exchange listed company and subsidiary of CIMC.
  • In 2012 CIMC bought German Ziemann Group, a global producer of turnkey brewery systems and steel tanks for the beverage industry, out of receivership and merged it with its Holvrieka business to become Ziemann Holvrieka.
  • In June 2016, Briggs Group (known as Briggs of Burton), a 276-year-old UK-based company engaged in the process engineering, manufacturing, and automation to the brewing, distilling, food, pharma, and biotech industries was bought for GBP 23 million (USD28.6 million) was added to the group.
  • Finally in March 2019, Diversified Metal Engineering (DME), a Canadian company specialized in the design and production of craft brewing equipment and steel tanks for the beverage industry, which went the prior year into receivership (, 17.12.2018), was sold to a subsidiary of CIMC (, 18.3.2019).

“We firmly believe that our group will gain from Künzel’s remarkable expertise. While Künzel will benefit from our global presence and research and development capabilities. We are eagerly anticipating a successful and close collaboration with the management team and all employees,” affirmed Klaus Gehrig, CEO of Ziemann Holvrieka GmbH.

“The priority of all our activities was, is and will be unconditional customer satisfaction. Künzel has always distinguished itself through excellent customer service and long-standing customer relationships, and this value will remain anchored in our corporate culture in the future.

This acquisition and the associated close collaboration with Ziemann gives us the possibility to combine our strengths and create synergies that allow us to expand into new markets as well as developing our product and service portfolio – for the benefit of all our current and future customers,” states Clemens Thüsing, Managing Director of Künzel Maschinenbau GmbH who holds a 19% stake in Künzel.

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