The Merck Group, a German pharmaceutical and chemical company, has won the 14th annual IMD-Lombard Odier Global Family Business Award in recognition of the business' pioneering spirit and encouragement of the next generation.
The company, now in its 12th generation of family ownership, is a world leader in the chemical and pharmaceutical industry. It employs 33,000 people in 60 countries and had 2008 revenues of €7.6 billion.
Jon Baumhauer, chairman of the family board and 11th-generation family member, said: "Business comes first – the Merck family members, totalling today 217 members representing the 10th, 11th and 12th generations, see their role as that of trustee with a clear objective to pass the group onto the next generation enriched and enlarged."
Other aspects of the business that impressed the judges were the duration of the family's ownership of the company, its strong family values and its focus on establishing an owner identity in the next generation.
Merck is the world's oldest pharmaceutical and chemical group with roots dating back to 1668. The family owns around 70% of the business through the general partner E Merck KG.
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