Farewell Rainer Bartram
In December 2008, following 25 years of involvement in the company, majority shareholder Rainer Bartram handed over his shares in WINTERSTEIGER to our current owners, the Lange family from Hamburg. True to his motto "Only success counts, good intentions alone are worthless", Bartram resolutely pursued his strategy of making WINTERSTEIGER a global player and market leader in each of its three business segments:
- Sales subsidiaries were founded around the world
- Strategically important companies were acquired
- The Ried site was built up and massively expanded to become the company's headquarters
Starting off in turbulent times.
When Rainer Bertram acquired a stake in WINTERSTEIGER in 1982, the company was in a difficult situation that nearly threatened its very existence. Turnover was only slightly over 6 million euros, the company was operating at a loss, and its equity capital had nearly been depleted. A further factor was its ownership structure consisting of 12 shareholders who weren't in agreement on the future of the company.
In terms of its assets, WINTERSTEIGER had excellent, technically advanced products and highly motivated employees. Bartram acquired an initial stake of 20 percent of the company's share capital before subsequently taking over the remaining shares. By 1983, turnover had already increased to 7.4 million euros, and WINTERSTEIGER was back in the black. Under Bartram's careful management, the small Innviertel-based company consistently grew to become a profitable global company.
© Franz Kaufmann
Bartram was the first entrepreneur to receive the Golden Medal of Honor presented by the town of Ried in 2008. He was also awarded the Golden Medal of Honor for Services to the Republic of Austria and Golden Medal of Honor of the State of Upper Austria.
Handover to the Lange family.
Bartram retired at the age of 84. Despite significant financial turbulence – especially in the US – WINTERSTEIGER was on very secure financial footing in 2008, and the company achieved the highest turnover in its history.
Bartram put a great deal of foresight into choosing his successor. The Lange family based in Hamburg – with whom Bartram had shared a close professional and personal relationship for decades – had already acquired a 44.9 percent share in WINTERSTEIGER in December 2005 and now took over the remaining shares belonging to Bartram. Wolff Lange succeeded Bartram as Head of the Supervisory Board and has kept WINTERSTEIGER on a successful course ever since.
Rainer Bartram passed away very unexpectedly on February 25, 2009, just days before his 85th birthday.
Rainer Bartram at the WINTERSTEIGER 50th anniversary celebration
2007: Press conference in Linz
2008: Last strategy meeting with Rainer Bartram