About us

Our heritage

GEA enjoys a rich history, rooted in the founding of the metals trading company Metallgesellschaft AG (MG) in 1881.

Based initially in Frankfurt with 40 employees, MG later added chemicals trading and the construction of plants for processing ores and the extraction of non-ferrous metals to its portfolio. When domestic mines could no longer satisfy Germany’s metal requirements, the company rapidly developed extensive relations abroad, also entering financing and later the shipping industry in the 1920s. By merging with the rapidly expanding Bochum concern – GEA – in 1999, from which it later took its own name, the company evolved into a global mechanical engineering company with deep process expertise across several industries.

During the last 140 years, our company has lived through many historic chapters, including world wars and economic challenges, phases of restructuring and name changes, punctuated by periods of geographic and portolio expansion. A near-constant feature in this long trajectory is our international reach and commitment to working across borders and cultures on behalf of customers.

Our business has greatly evolved since 1881. By adding companies with specialized competencies to the group, we have bolstered our portfolio and know-how in key sectors. Their histories are our history and over the decades many of these employees have joined GEA – further strengthening our expertise and reputation around the globe. GEA remains a dynamic company, continually evolving to meet changing customer and consumer needs.

GEA provided us with access to a global marketplace, financial stability, sound corporate governance and resources to develop in what was rapidly becoming a highly competitive marketplace.
Luigi Bonzanini Head of Blowing, Filling & Packaging, GEA Procomac

Story

The only constant is change: GEA’s bottling pioneers

Procomac was founded in a small workshop in 1979 on the outskirts of the well-known food hub of Parma.

Story

A legendary dedication to brewing

In 1874, brothers Sebastian and Heinrich Huppmann opened a blacksmith’s shop near Kitzingen in northern Bavaria. The rest is history!

Steeped in history: Grasso

When the wall came down, we didn't know how to sell. With the GEA GRASSO merger we were able to enter the market and under a well-known and respected brand.
Dieter Mosemann former development engineer, GEA

Story

Quality tempered by tradition: GEA screw compressors

GEA screw compressor technology encompasses 50 plus years of expertise and innovation.

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Leading the way in industrial separation

Company milestones

Wilhelm Merton

Founding & growth: 1881

Wilhelm Merton, Leo Ellinger & Zacharias Hochschild found Metallgesellschaft Aktiengesellschaft (MG), a joint stock metals trading company, Frankfurt am Main

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1882-1914

To meet domestic demand, MG identifies new raw material sources, establishing itself across all continents through investments in mines & metallurgical plants

Lurgi

1916-1922

Following their father Wilhelm’s death, sons Richard and Alfred Merton assume leadership of MG; major foreign investment losses and barriers to international business as a result of WWI; entry into chemicals trading and land and water transport sectors

Invitation AGM 1942

1935-1945

Several board members removed as a result of their Jewish heritage and/or connections; firm assets commandeered by the National Socialists to support the war economy; Alfred, then Richard Merton, move to England; extensive destruction of German MG facilities as a result of WWII

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1947-1950

Richard Merton (d. 1960) resumes leadership as Chairman of the Supervisory Board; period of intense reconstruction and financial growth with increased focus on plant engineering

mg 1971

Reorganization & globalization: 1971

All MG businesses organized into five divisions: metals processing, plant construction, chemicals, transport and communications with centralized function covering: finance, staff & administration and technology

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1984-1993

MG increases its focus on specialty chemicals sector through key acquisitions and on environmental technologies; following decades of growth, MG suffers heavy losses on oil futures transactions in the US, plunging the company into crisis 

mg Metallgesellschaft logo

1994-1998

Restructuring and divestment of 300+ subsidiaries; pharma and specialty chemicals acquisitions; MG organized into four divisions: engineering, chemical, building systems and trading services; joins MDAX; new corporate identity launched

GEA history

1999

MG acquires majority stake in Bochum-based: Gesellschaft für Entstaubungs-Anlagen mbH (GEA), founded in 1920 by Otto Happel as a dedusting company. GEA evolved into a global concern, manufacturing components, systems and complete lines for: process-, heat & power-, air- and agricultural/dairy technology, bolstered by several key acquisitions (e.g., Grasso, Niro, Westfalia Separator, Tuchenhagen)

mg AGM

2000-2004

Metallgesellschaft AG becomes mg technologies ag; business focus on mechanical- and plant engineering and process equipment; chemicals division dissolved

GEA Logo 2005

The new GEA: 2005-2006

GEA AG merges with parent company mg technologies ag; mg technologies ag then renamed GEA Group Aktiengesellschaft; Huppmann acquisition; headquarter moves from Frankfurt to Bochum

GEA building 2011

2010-2011

GEA group structure further streamlined and centralized; headquarter moves from Bochum to Düsseldorf; company purpose launched: Engineering for a better world

GEA Logo

2015-2019

GEA divisions organized under two business areas: Solutions and Equipment; centralized and uniform country organization created; new logo combining company name and purpose launched; first sustainability reporting as part of annual financial report; intensified food&beverage acquisitions

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2020

GEA group structured into five divisions based on technologies; P&L responsibility returned to division managers; GEA becomes founding member of DAX 50 ESG

GEA sustainability report 2020

2021

GEA publishes its first stand-alone sustainability report (FY2020), sets science-based targets and a net-zero target for 2040

Below is a list of companies that belong to GEA today:

Adapta, Aerofreeze, Aeromatic-Fielder, Aquarius, Ariete, Aseptomag, Atlas, Avapac, AWP, Barr-Rosin, Belam, Bischoff, Bowen, Breconcherry, Brewery Systems, Brouwers, CFS, Colby, Comas, Courtoy, Collette, CMT, Diessel, Dixie Union, Eagleclass, Elba, Eurotek, Exergy, FES, FIL, Filtration, Goedhart, Grasso, Grenco, Hilge, Houle, Huppmann, Hygia, Intec, Ilka Mafa, Imaforni, Jet Pumps, Kestner, Koppens, Krämer + Grebe, Laguilharre, Liquid Processing, Lyophil, Matal, Maxa, Messo, Milfos, mts flowtec, Mullerup, Niro, Niro Soavi, Niro PT, Norbco, NOVAlobe, Nu-Con, Panda, Pavan, Pharma Systems, Procomac, Scami, Scanio, Scan-Vibro, Surge, Sterner, TDS, Technofrigo, Tiromat, Tuchenhagen, Variflow, Varipond, Vesta, VIPOLL, Westfalia Landtechnik, Westfalia Separator, WestfaliaSurge, Wewatch, Wiegand, Wilarus, Wolfking

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