RÖCHLING GROUP
Our Employees in the Industrial Division 

FROM SMALL FAMILY TO EXTENDED FAMILY

RÖCHLING MAYWO
The company color used to be green. Today, it is blue. What was once an independent family-run firm is now part of a group of companies. Some things have changed for the workforce at the plastics processor in the Allgäu region in Germany, others have not: employees are as proud to be working for “Röchling Maywo” today as they were when employed by Maywo.

The integration of Maywo GmbH in the Röchling Group in 2012 transformed what was a small family into an extended one. The employees of the plastics processor are now part of a global family-owned company with a history dating back almost 200 years.

In the case of Maywo GmbH, it was possible to achieve the one thing that so often fails during company acquisitions: ensuring that both parties profited. By general consensus, this was achieved largely because the management lent a particularly sympathetic ear to the new employees throughout the sale and in the ensuing period and kept a close eye on their needs, but also on their concerns.

A Convincing Offer
The sale of the profitable company was triggered by the withdrawal of its two shareholders. The employees feared for their jobs. In the search for a new owner, the Maywo managing director at the time quickly had the family-owned company Röchling in his sights. On closer inspection, Röchling’s offer was also the most convincing. “For example, Röchling agreed to take on all employees under the same terms and to strive for growth,” reports Florian Helmich, Managing Director of Röchling Maywo since 2012. Röchling turned rhetoric into action. Just three months after signing the purchase agreement, Röchling approved the first major investment. “This is how you get people on board,” says Helmich.

Intensive Persuasive Efforts
During this initial phase, it was important to communicate as openly as possible. The message was: We will continue as a family and a team but with much better opportunities to develop as a company than before. “It took a great deal of work to convince all employees of this,” recalls authorized officer Ingrid Teichmann, who has been working for Maywo for 21 years. The then Röchling CEO, Ludger Bartels, traveled specially from Mannheim to attend a works meeting. “Our employees saw that as a genuine sign of appreciation,” recalls the authorized officer. Not long after that, the entire Maywo workforce spent a weekend in Haren, where they inspected the production facilities. “That further reinforced the feeling that we have excellent prospects,” adds the native of the Allgäu region, who knows the company better than almost anyone else.

For Röchling, it was clear from the outset that somebody from within the company would be on site to introduce the new mindset and new rules but without imposing them on the Maywo employees. The ultimate decision was in favor of Helmich, who was working at Röchling Industrial in Haren. The native of the Emsland district in Lower Saxony is not known for keeping his opinion to himself. He ensured that Maywo was not immediately renamed after the takeover. “We had to convince the customers gradually that the familiar Maywo quality would remain the same under Röchling. We couldn’t simply gamble away the firm’s good image,” explains Helmich. That is why Maywo only became “Röchling Maywo” two years after the takeover.

Discussions Between Equal Partners
During the acquisition process, it was also important to allow time to resolve key issues and to develop common positions based on sound arguments. “Of course, there are points that are non-negotiable for the purchaser,” adds Helmich. “But in other areas, it is possible to reach compromises.” Authorized officer Teichmann also had similar experiences: “The Röchling management listened to our opinions and engaged with us as equal partners.” She goes on to explain that the company profits today from its contacts with the other Röchling companies. This mutual exchange of ideas and expertise at every level was extremely productive, she adds. “Maywo benefited significantly from Röchling in the area of automation as well,” adds Helmich. In return, Maywo, which special­izes in the production of semi-finished products made from thermoplastics for applications in vacuum forming technology, ensured that Röchling now also had a good reputation in the market in this segment.

Since the takeover five years ago, the headcount has increased from 83 to 121, and sales from EUR 25 million to EUR 40 million. The machinery was upgraded with seven-figure investments, and a new production hall is currently being taken into operation. With an investment volume of five million euros, Röchling kept its word: Maywo has a bright future.