German textile firm Strunkmann & Meister acquires Swiss manufactory Lehner Switzerland

  • The Bielefeld headquartered Firm acquires a traditional Swiss textile firm
  • Production of various
  • Synergies for production and distribution

Manufactories live since several years a renaissance. Very often such small production firms are in family owenership, but have problems to find a successor. Here assists Jan Heipcke. Now he expands further and acquires for the Bielefelder textile firm Stunkman & Meister with Lehner Switzerland another traditional company producing various types of hankies.

The expert for company successions is dedicated to save tradition and craft work and secures their future existence through new sales channel or modern targeting means. He plans to takeover additional manufactories.

He denies to be a classic investor, underlines Heipcke. “I acquire interesting firms with potential and align them in a manner that they survive during the next 50 years. In additional I am operationally active in the company.”

2013 he acquired Strunkmann & Meister. The family enterprise 2013 stood just before ending, because of a missing successor. A similar case was Lehner Switzerland. Since the small manufactory from Appenzell (CH) was a supplier for more than 30 years of the Bielefeld firm, Heipcke was well aware oft he high value products and their. He boarded an airplane, then the Appenzeller mountain railway and met with the former ownership. Two month later was the start for the integration of Lehner at Strunkmann & Meister.

“We dispose at Strunkmann & Meister of the competence of processing fabrics thanks to female collaborators, some of them work over 40 years for us”, declares Heipcke.

Similar to Strunkmann & Meister he plans to place Lehner strategically new and to bring-in his operative steering, for instance a new online shop or new targeting over social media activities and newsletters.

At the same time he makes use of synergy effects through existing relationship to customers and suppliers. “Lehner did not enjoy a true website”, says Heipcke. Meanwhile online direct sales were set up and Lehnber products in the online shop for final customers, allowing with a configuration tool for initials to personalise products.

Jan Heipcke

For decades existing customer loyalty

Heipcke is convinced that the two companies will have a future in the highly competitive textile market. “We believe that human beings are ready to spend money on high value and beautiful products”, states Heipcke. He adds: “I have seldom knew a company where customer loyalty functions so well over decades such as at Strunkmann & Meister and Lehner Switzerland.

In the future, Heipcke plans to take over further firms without succession. More than 90 % German companies report proceeds of less than EUR two million, and, many have problems with seeking a successor.

„Partricularly small family companies have story behind them. It is an emotional theme. There are existing many very well positioned firms with a high grade brands and products, neglecting digitalisation and not making use of modern distribution.  With Heipcke the find a long term engagement. Besides economic aspects also a certain romantic  aspects play an essential role. By all the takeovers I fell in love with their products!”

Besides Lehner Switzerland and Strunkmann & Meister, manufacturing home textiles such as table and bed linen or hankies for private customers, but also for the British Crown or the German Chancellery, Heipke acquired also the manufactories Klar Seifen (Soaps), Edel Naturwaren and RS Vital. “These companies are well equipped to manage the future. Envisioned new family enterprises are impressed by our success up to now, and, that we keep our promises,” underlines Heipcke.