Germany: Warsteiner’s "future program" becomes a bloodletting

Warsteiner Group, one of the largest privately owned brewing groups in Germany, announced last Thursday at an employee meeting in Warstein the key points of its new “future program”.  The company is going to cut up to 240 jobs out of more than 1,400 in the entire Warsteiner Group (with sites at Warstein, Paderborner, Herford,  Fürstenfeld-Bruck and Kaltenberg), thereof alone about 80 of the 730 at the headquarter and main production site in Warstein.

The company also said to thoroughly scrutinize the operations of Warsteiner Distributions and Herforder Brauerei, which will most likely lead to a sale of both companies.

Warsteiner Distributions runs four beverage wholesalers (Krietmeyer/Hamm, Hornung/Bocholt, Sauerland Getränke/Brilon, Kamphenkel/Berlin) and ten beverage shops.

Herforder Brauerei, is a local brewery from the namesake city in Westfalia with a production of about 300,000 hl beer of its own brand Herforder and another 200,000 hl with contract brewing for Germany’s largest supermarket chain Edeka (brands: Oscar Maxxum, Traugott Simon).

In the 1990s, Warstein overtook Dortmund as Germany's beer city number one. Over six million hectoliters were brewed and sold. Since then business was on the wane, even in Warstein’s anniversary year of 2003, when staff was reduced by 150 people.

The downward trend could not be stopped afterwards. Another 100,000 hectoliters were lost last year, leaving only 2.15 million hectoliters brewed in Warstein. The brand Warsteiner slipped to the seventh place among beer brands in Germany. (, 28.8.2018)

At the end of August 2017, the brewery announced that the consulting firm Roland Berger Strategy Consultants had been commissioned to screen the company. (, 7.9.2017)"Every stone is turned around," said at that time Dr. Carsten Rockholtz, who succeeded Stephan Fahrig as Chief Financial Officer of the Warsteiner Group in April 2017 and who will now move over within one year from the Management Board to the Supervisory Board “for private reasons”.

People familiar with the matter, however, believe that Alessandra Cama, who was assigned the role as head of Roland Berger’s restructuring team at Warsteiner in October 2017 and who is after the dismissal of Martin Hötzel since January 2018 Warsteiner’s new Managing Director, preferred a Roland Berger colleague for this post.

The new CFO is Christian Gieselmann, who was part of Roland Berger’s restructuring team at pasta producer Barilla Group and performed in this context from September 2010 through October 2013 the role as Chief Operating Officer at German industrial bakery market leader Lieken, a subsidiary of Barilla, before returning to Roland Berger in January 2015.

Other recent personnel changes at Warsteiner include the dismissal of Nils Handke, Sales Director Off-trade at Warsteiner Group, who had to leave this week, and Human Resource Manager Arne Kaufmann, who also left the company shorty before after being with the company 12 months. 

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