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The topic of handing over a company is on everyone's lips, especially in medium-sized businesses. According to a study by the Institute for SME Research in Germany, the regulation of company succession is pending in around 150,000 companies in Germany until 2022.

Karl and Christian Leibinger, Presidents of the KLS Martin Group, also dealt with this topic. Karl Leibinger had planned the handover to his son Christian at an early stage. When he was 60, he had a plan for how the handover would take place; when he was 65, it was completed. Within five years he wanted to gradually hand over all responsibilities to his son.

Today - at the age of 69 - Karl Leibinger looks back on a successful company handover. At the age of 65 he had handed over all shares. "This is also part of the trust placed in the successor," says Karl Leibinger. For father and son it is still important today that they speak to employees and customers with one voice, regardless of what was previously discussed internally.

Karl Leibinger admits that in the beginning it sometimes hurt when his son was involved and not him anymore. But soon he was very proud that his son Christian found the same acceptance among employees and business partners as he did and that he now manages the company to his satisfaction.

Christian Leibinger realised early on that he would one day be joining his own company. After graduating from high school, he first studied business administration and then worked in a management consultancy. In doing so, he followed his father's recommendation to gather experience in another company after his training before joining his own company. He joined the KLS Martin Group in the USA. There he worked for one year in sales and learned the medical technology business from scratch.

Karl Leibinger still works for the KLS Martin Group from Tuesday to Thursday and is mainly responsible for various construction projects. The KLS Martin WORLD training centre in Tuttlingen was actually supposed to be his final work, but he is currently working on the expansion of the production at Karl Leibinger Medizintechnik in Mühlheim, which is scheduled for completion in spring 2020.

The beginnings of Karl Leibinger

Karl Leibinger joined the family business Karl Leibinger Medizintechnik in Mühlheim an der Donau in 1974 as CEO at the age of 24 after his father had died in a car accident in Mexico. Unexpectedly at an early age, he took over the management of the family business in the fourth generation. At that time, the company employed 110 people. Today there are 375 employees. He also reached important milestones within the KLS Martin Group. He successively expanded the product range of the group of companies and accelerated its internationalization.

Learn more about the development of the product range
Learn more about internationalization