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Otto family retains family business

The Otto family has regained all the shares of its mail-order company, the Otto Group. The family’s investment vehicle has taken over newspaper publisher E Brost & J Funke from the other shareholders, and therefore the remaining 25% in Otto.

Thomas Voigt, spokesperson of Dr Michael Otto (pictured), who is chairman of the supervisory board, said: “Running the Otto Group as a family business enables us to follow a long term strategy to the advantage of the group, without the need to constantly deliver short term results as is the case with quoted companies.”

Founded by Michael’s father, Werner Otto, in 1949, the Otto Group is now the largest mail-order firm in the world with revenues of €15 billion and 53,000 employees. And the company looks set to stay in the family for the foreseeable future.

“If you wish to do business without prejudice to following generations and if you keep an eye on the long term economic well-being of a company, to our understanding, this is just the opposite of a short sighted profit seeking strategy,” said Voigt. “Going public is absolutely no option for our company.”

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