Tuesday, 4 November 2014
Germany's Manufacturing Sector Mints Two New Billionaire Family Fortunes
The founding families of German construction and gaming equipment manufacturers have both reached billionaire status, according to Forbes’ research.
The first fortune belongs to Paul Gauselmann and his family, who own 100% of Gauselmann AG, one of the world’s leading games and gaming machine companies. The company makes around 50,000 gaming machines (with and without prizes) a year. It also has over 200 entertainment centers in Germany. Plus its subsidiaries GeWeTe and Hess HES -4.34% make money changing and payment systems for arcades, casinos, banks and credit institutes.
Gauselmann, who has been called the pope of the amusement business, was born in 1934, the son of a craftsman. He initially started out as a telecoms inspector. But a friend who worked in the amusement industry helped spark his interest in the gaming sector. In 1956 he apparently got himself a job as a technical for the importer of American Wurlitzer juke boxes. A year later he decided to operate juke boxes himself in his spare time. Around that time he also began inventing things. Among his creations: a remote control for German juke boxes– the first of his 300 patents to-date. He also apparently had a role in developing the first electronic cigarette vending machine made in Germany.
What started as a modest business transformed into a coin-op machine empire that today does nearly $1.3 billion in sales and employs 8,000 people in Germany and Europe. The gaming outfit – and family – is worth at least $2.1 billion, based on Forbes’ analysis using conservative price-to sales-metrics of publicly traded companies such as Sankyo Sankyo Co, Sega Sammy Holdings Sega Sammy Holdings, Heiwa Corporation and Dynam Japan.
Culled from Forbes.