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Koehler celebrates anniversary for the takeover of a traditional business. Despite the challenges, the mood is always positive. Together, the companies are going into a successful future with a breath of fresh air.
“We are happy to guarantee the continued existence of a business such as this, so steeped in tradition, to offer the employees long-term prospects and stimulate the region in decisive ways.” This is a quote from Koehler’s CEO Kai Furler taken from a press 2009 press release, announcing the takeover of the then insolvent The KATZ Group.
Ten years have passed in the meantime and a lot has happened since. In October 2009 the takeover was approved, new growth promised and future prospects roughly laid out. It is clear that the promises made have been kept. While the intervening years certainly brought changes and challenges with them, the prevailing mood is and always has been positive.
“Not once have we regretted the takeover decision,” Furler sums up today. “Of course, Katz and Koehler have developed further together, but this is important too,” added Dr. Stefan Karrer, COO at Koehler. Here he is alluding to new products, which have broadened and enriched the KATZ portfolio over the last few years. Among these is the sound reduction board GREEN LIGNIN, likewise the KATZ DISPLAY BOARD, which can, for example, be used at the point of sale as a hanging sign.
Don’t click away: practical, original and high quality
The number 1 product remains the coaster. As to why he dislikes the German term for beermat [Bierdeckel, literally: beer lid], Furler states that: “A lid is used for covering things.” However, he concedes that the coaster may also be used in this way to protect drinks in summery beer gardens from flying objects. “The coaster is a wonderful and at times definitely underrated accessory with many possible applications.”
Karsten Beisert agrees. Since the beginning of the year he has been CEO of The KATZ Group and has made it his goal to improve the public perception of the coaster. “Here we have a communication medium with a very wide reach,” he states. One which, according to Beisert, you neither can nor want to click away from. “The coaster lies in front of us the entire evening, we play with it, write things on it and perhaps even take it home with us.” As he sees it, the practical uses come together with high quality and originality.
The coaster is a part of “table culture”
The coaster is a part of KATZ, just as both are a part of Weisenbach. Beisert is well aware of this. “You can feel how businesses and locations belong to one another. In this way, Weisenbach has become the world capital of the beermat.” Beisert also prefers to speak of coasters, because, as he doesn’t tire of stressing, they are a part of good “table culture”. Beisert maintains that the coaster can be refined in many ways: its color, form and even smell can be varied. “The coaster must be placed everywhere on the table where drinks are served.”
After several turbulent years prior to 2009, with the takeover by Kohler, the history of Katz once again achieved stability. But it certainly didn’t become boring in the meantime. Both Furler and Beisert agree that we needn’t worry about this happening. “KATZ is an excellent fit with Koehler,” says Furler and is certain that: “This anniversary is only the beginning of a long and successful history.”