In 2008, our event focused on the relationship with our most important trade and business partner: the US. We honored the best-performing companies in the categories "Profitable Growth" and "Mergers & Acquisitions." Furthermore, we presented a special award for the most successful transatlantic relationships in America.
||Benteler AG won first prize in the "Growth" category for companies with sales of more than EUR 5 billion for the second time. Its core business segments are automotive systems, steel/tubes and distribution. In this fiercely competitive market, Benteler AG managed to raise its return on sales from 2.4% to 3.4% between 2002 and 2006. At the same time, its headcount increased by 4,600 to 22,000. "Benteler pursued a targeted strategy of organic growth based on rigorous research and development," the jury explained. Dr. Mathias Hüttenrauch, Managing Director of Benteler Automobiltechnik GmbH, accepted the prize.
||The "Growth" award for small and medium-sized companies went to Schmitz Cargobull from the town Horstmar. "The European market leader in semitrailers, platform trailers, tippers and swap bodies made it to the top because its returns have been stable for years and its focus on customers is outstanding," the jury said. CEO Bernd Hoffmann accepted the prize on behalf of the company.
|Crossborder Mergers & Acquisitions
||The global healthcare group Fresenius SE won the "Cross-border mergers and acquisitions" award. The jury was especially impressed by how the company manage to create value from its acquisitions: "Fresenius has clearly perfected the art of integrating new acquisitions. The capital markets were really enthusiastic about Fresenius Medical Care's takeover of Renal Care Group in the US," the jury said. "What's more, Fresenius Kabi created global synergies with international acquisitions such as Laboratorio Sanderson in Chile, Ribbon Srl in Italy and Filaxis in Argentina. It also integrated Nestlé's food business in France and Spain, and the colloid business of Kyorin Pharmaceuticals in Japan." Dr. Ulf M. Schneider accepted the prize.
||BASF, one of the world's leading chemical companies, was recognized for its successful acquisition of Engelhard, the American catalyst specialist. The jury felt that "With the expansion of its catalyst business, BASF has become much more competitive. This acquisition allows the company to access unique global research in catalysts. Now BASF can offer its customers in industrialized and emerging markets new innovative products and system solutions to comply with emissions standards that are becoming stricter." Dr. Kurt Bock, CFO, responsible for North America, accepted the prize.
||The special prize in Germany for efforts in the service of transatlantic economic relations goes to the CEO of Airbus, Dr. Thomas Enders. Juror Schwenker explains, "What impressed us was Dr. Enders's continuous professional and personal commitment to Germany's relations with the US, our most important non-EU trading partner." The special prize is awarded in cooperation with the news broadcaster n-tv and Atlantik-Brücke e.V.