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Haribo: A company that Warren would love to buy


VersaillesinNY
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According to Bloomberg Business week:

 

Hans Riegel sounds like something straight out of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The chief executive of German candy maker Haribo, best known for its chewy Gummy Bears, is eccentric, yet kindly to his employees and hugely successful in business. Every morning Riegel calls his top managers one by one into his Bonn office and personally distributes their mail, his way of keeping tabs on developments. Riegel sometimes stands at the end of the Haribo conveyor belts as they spew out licorice snails or golden chewy bears—100 million pieces of candy a day—stuffing his cheeks with samples. To keep in touch with Haribo's target market, Riegel watches children's TV programs and reads comic books. Riegel, who doesn't believe in ad agencies, writes Haribo TV commercials himself. This quirky management style seems to work. Family-owned Haribo doesn't release financial information, but Germany's Manager magazine estimates sales at $1.5 billion. Unlike Willy Wonka, though, Riegel does not plan to choose a successor by stashing a golden ticket in a chocolate bar. Ownership will pass to a foundation that will oversee management.

 

Here are some nice papers on this marketing & sales champion whose leader just passed away.

 

When star investor Warren Buffett came knocking on his door in 2008, Riegel sent him away.

"Money was never my motivation," he said at the time. "I don't even know when I made my first million."

 

http://www.spiegel.de/international/business/former-haribo-leader-hans-riegel-dies-at-90-a-928034.html

 

The golden gift (A must read if you enjoyed the book: The Emperors of Chocolate)

 

https://www.hersheystory.org/lib/pdfs/winners/The%20Golden%20Gift.pdf

 

Hans Riegel, German Gummi Bear Baron, Dies At Age 90

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/15/hans-riegel_n_4101090.html

 

The History, Making and Influences of Gummi Bears

 

http://voices.yahoo.com/the-history-making-influences-gummi-bears-73490.html

 

CEO Hans Riegel rare interview (in German - I wish it had English subtitles)

 

 

"He who retires early gets old faster." Hans Riegel

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It seems too small for Berkshire but definitely something Fairfax can look at!  :)  I would love to start seeing Prem look at quality businesses outside insurance which can move the needle. 

 

Tks,

S

 

According to Bloomberg Business week:

 

Hans Riegel sounds like something straight out of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The chief executive of German candy maker Haribo, best known for its chewy Gummy Bears, is eccentric, yet kindly to his employees and hugely successful in business. Every morning Riegel calls his top managers one by one into his Bonn office and personally distributes their mail, his way of keeping tabs on developments. Riegel sometimes stands at the end of the Haribo conveyor belts as they spew out licorice snails or golden chewy bears—100 million pieces of candy a day—stuffing his cheeks with samples. To keep in touch with Haribo's target market, Riegel watches children's TV programs and reads comic books. Riegel, who doesn't believe in ad agencies, writes Haribo TV commercials himself. This quirky management style seems to work. Family-owned Haribo doesn't release financial information, but Germany's Manager magazine estimates sales at $1.5 billion. Unlike Willy Wonka, though, Riegel does not plan to choose a successor by stashing a golden ticket in a chocolate bar. Ownership will pass to a foundation that will oversee management.

 

Here are two nice papers on a marketing champion whose leader just passed away.

 

Hans Riegel, German Gummi Bear Baron, Dies At Age 90

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/15/hans-riegel_n_4101090.html

 

The golden gift

 

https://www.hersheystory.org/lib/pdfs/winners/The%20Golden%20Gift.pdf

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Ourkid8:

 

When star investor Warren Buffett came knocking on his door in 2008, Riegel sent him away. "Money was never my motivation," he said at the time. "I don't even know when I made my first million."

 

Source:

http://www.spiegel.de/international/business/former-haribo-leader-hans-riegel-dies-at-90-a-928034.html

 

My guess is that he should have attended a Berkshire Annual meeting before declining Warren's offer. ;)

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My guess is that he should have attended a Berkshire Annual meeting before declining Warren's offer. ;)

 

It was his life's work and I can imagine that it would be a different feeling to go from owning it and being the ultimate boss, to being owned by someone else. True, Warren treats the managers whose companies he buys extremely well, but it would be a different feeling for him and I dont blame him for not selling.

Plus, Warren buys these businesses to make more money so financially he probably has been better not selling too.

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