The Wirtz Family’s Business Concerns

The company Chemie Grünenthal GmbH, founded in 1946 in Stolberg in the Rheinland, is now called Grünenthal GmbH and is based in Aachen. Its sole partner is Grünenthal Pharma GmbH & Co. KG whose shares are owned by the Wirtz family.

Grünenthal works primarily on the research, development and production of medication for the alleviation of pain. The active agent Tramadol (private brand Tramal) which was developed by Grünenthal, is the most widely sold painkiller in the field of opioids.

Grünenthal has further research and business operations in the fields of gynaecology, anti-infectives and dermatology, and in the manufacture and marketing of the contraceptive pill Belara and the pain relief plaster Transtec.

The Wirtz family also owns Dalli-Werke GmbH & Co. KG, the former soap factory founded by Andreas August Wirtz in 1845 in Stolberg. The company makes the well-known Dalli brand products, as well as countless trademarks for discount stores (soaps, crèmes, hair care products, household cleaners etc). Tandil washing powers, stocked by Aldi, are probably the best-known example.

The perfume manufacturer Mäurer & Wirtz GmbH & Co. KG (House of Perfumes) in Stolberg is a daughter concern of Dalli-Werke, and its daughter concerns include Cosmeurop Parfums, Théany Cosmetic, and NewYorker Cosmetics.

According to Manager Magazine (2/2005), the Wirtz’s group of companies generated a turnover of around €1.3 billion in 2003, and had around 7,000 employees. Until 1969 Grünenthal was run by Hermann Wirtz, followed by (among others) his son Michael Wirtz until 2005. Since 2005 his son Sebastian Wirtz has been a shareholding member of the management board.

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