Our approach determines our entrepreneurial actions. This applies to all areas of our work, from evaluating a possible investment in a new company to the way we collaborate with a company that already is part of Obermark.
Obermark’s shareholders and management respect the life work of founders, owners, and managers of businesses. Obermark's actions are predicated on the belief that sustainable economic success is based on mutual trust and managers’ entrepreneurial freedom. This success can endure only if the public interest is also taken into account. We, therefore, reliably support the work of our companies’ management and staff in a long-term oriented manner. Obermark is not a broker of companies, but their responsible owner.
Successful companies not only foster productivity and creativity but they also serve to unify communities and are an important basis for local prosperity. Companies are relevant sponsors of social and community activities at both the local and regional levels. They are the basis for the development and exchange of knowledge, artisanship and modern technology. The best companies exert their positive influence across generations.
Obermark acquires medium-sized companies with the intent to co-develop them permanently and to take an entrepreneurial approach to ownership. To this end, Obermark provides knowledge, experience, and capital. Our focus is on the continuous development of companies that were admitted to the Obermark group.
Our shareholders do not expect cash returns from Obermark. The capital generated by one of our companies remains at its disposal for profitable investments. Should one of our companies not require the funds generated by it, Obermark will invest them in the development of other companies in the group or for the acquisition of additional companies.
Obermark generally acquires majority stakes in market-leading companies, and finances them conservatively. The long-term development of the company is at the forefront. Our focus is on companies based in Europe, with an emphasis on Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.
We principally support Obermark group companies through the regular review, definition and implementation of a forward-looking strategy, in the filling of key management positions, and in the provision of capital. Our contribution is aimed at advancing a company even under changing market conditions, helping to make it as crisis-resistant as possible. In this context, we view it positively when a company profitably re-invests its earnings.
Obermark's strategy aims for value-creating co-operation with the management and the previous owners. This applies regardless of whether they remain co-invested in the company. At the new home Obermark, the company name, location, entrepreneurial independence, culture and jobs remain as they were.
The owners' entrepreneurial life work is respected and carried forward responsibly.
Obermark invests in market-leading companies with sustainable competitive advantages. Important criteria for Obermark's interest in a company are the generation of strong earnings even during difficult market periods, and a business model that is focused on niches with attractive long-term growth potential and predictable competitive forces.
An annual EBIT (earnings before interest and taxes) between five and 25 million euros. Companies in which Obermark invests must exhibit this level of profitability. However, Obermark group companies may acquire suitable companies that generate an EBIT below five million euros.
Value-creating and long-term oriented actions as well as the pursuit of quality and continuous development are integral parts of the corporate culture. The management demonstrates integrity, competence, and enthusiasm for what they do.
We offer the following options in respect of ownership and management:
- The owner may sell a majority stake to Obermark, remain invested in the company with a share of less than 50 percent, and continue to work as the managing director. The owner family may remain invested in the company for as long as they wish. The company remains a family business, and the family continues to be an entrepreneurial family, even if the owner-manager eventually steps down from his position as managing director.
- The owner may sell 100 percent of the shares in his company to Obermark, and continue to be the managing director. Strong owner-managers have the well-being of their company in mind, even if they no longer own it.
- The owner may sell the majority of his company to Obermark, remain invested in the company with a share of less than 50 percent, and withdraw completely from managing the business. The owner family may remain invested in the company for as long as it wishes. The company remains a family business, and the family continues to be an entrepreneurial family.
- The owner may sell 100 percent of the shares in his company to Obermark, and withdraw completely from managing the business.
We welcome it, if owner-managers, once they have handed over their direct management responsibilities, are available to the company and Obermark as advisory or supervisory board members or in a consulting capacity.
This also applies to managers who were not owners of the company.
Every successful business has a culture based on principles and values that employees, managers and owners recognize and follow. They act together within this framework of values and thus shape progress in their own unique way.
Obermark supports the exchange of ideas and information between family businesses as well as between generations in order to enhance and preserve this individuality and independence. In sum, this leads to diversity, which is of great importance in all markets.
This is why Obermark joined the association DIE FAMILIENUNTERNEHMER in 2011. The entrepreneurial network represents the economic interests of family businesses. Family businesses account for almost 60 percent of all jobs subject to social insurance contributions and about 80 percent of all jobs in Germany. For Obermark, this association stands for values such as a sense of responsibility, creativity and passion.
More information about the association DIE FAMILIENUNTERNEHMER can be found here
In July 2019, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) accused family businesses of sharing the responsibility for the unequal distribution of wealth in Germany. Like many associations and companies, Obermark does not share this view. Obermark is not only convinced that family-run small and medium-sized companies play a decisive role in the outstanding economic success of Germany, but that by reinvesting profits in their own companies, family entrepreneurs strengthen them, keep them independent of the financial markets and equip them to weather any crises that may occur. Successful family entrepreneurs may become wealthier, but these assets remain in the company, ensuring good jobs and thus income and the opportunity for asset accumulation, including the accumulation of pension entitlements for employees. Obermark therefore agrees with the statement of the Association of Family Entrepreneurs on the IMF country report.
The text of the statement can be found here
Every company and each employee are unique and have a distinct history. The following texts offer an impression of the motivation, perspective and convictions of the people behind the stories.