Effective 1 January 2004, Eckes AG is transformed into a straight financial holding company. From this point on, all business operations are managed by Eckes & Stock (spirits, wine and sparkling wine) and Eckes-Granini (fruit juice, fruit beverages), respectively. These two companies operate independently, each with its own management team and supervisory boards. This represents the final significant step in the process of establishing the two former divisions of Eckes AG as fully independent business enterprises.
Eckes Spirituosen & Wein, the German subsidiary, is sold to the Rotkäppchen-Mumm organization in 2006. The Harald Eckes-Chantré family holds a majority interest in Rotkäppchen-Mumm.
The end of a century and a half of business operations in the alcoholic beverage segment comes with the subsequent sale of all Eckes & Stock subsidiaries abroad to an American investor a year later. From this point on, the Eckes-Granini Group will focus its brand business on the fruit-juice and fruit-beverage market.
Eckes-Granini achieves total autonomy
Eckes acquires the remaining shares of Eckes-Granini GmbH & Co. KG held by Melitta (26%) since the acquisition of Granini in 1994. Effective 2006, the Eckes-Granini Group is invested with sole business-policy and decision-making authority.
The foundation for a successful future is laid in the first business year following its decision by Eckes AG to concentrate on the European fruit-juice business (2008) through the Eckes-Granini Group. With highly qualified and motivated employees, a broad and diverse brand portfolio (featuring the renowned premium brand granini and strong local fruit-juice and fruit-beverage brands) and a very sound financial structure, the economically healthy, independent family enterprise is well prepared for the challenges to come.
The conversion from glass to PET begins
Having previously introduced PET bottles for fruit juice with success in Switzerland and Finland, Eckes-Granini initiates the progressive conversion from glass to PET in Germany as well. This successful, revolutionary change requires massive investments and poses a major technical challenge for the Group.
Further progress in European expansion
The initial acquisition of a 20-percent (minority) interest in the Marli Group, the leading fruit-beverage supplier in Finland, opens the door to the markets in Scandinavia and the Baltic states in the year 2000. Eckes-Granini increases its share to a full 100% a year later.
With the acquisition of 60% interest in the French fruit-beverage producer Joker, Eckes-Granini assumes a leading position in the French fruit-juice market in 2001. Eckes-Granini France is founded through the merger of Joker and Les Vergers d’Alsace (acquired in 1998) with the granini, Joker and Réa brands in 2002.
Eckes-Granini Austria is established as a fully-owned subsidiary of the Eckes-Granini Group that same year.
Further progress in the process of European expansion is achieved through the acquisition of the fruit-juice producer Elmenhorster in Lithuania and the incorporation of Eckes-Granini Romania S. R. L. as the Romanian subsidiary (in cooperation with Carlsrom Beverage Co.) in 2006.
The Eckes-Granini Group also significantly expands its presence in the Scandinavian markets in 2007 through the acquisition of Brämhults Juice AB, a Swedish supplier of premium fruit juices. The fruit-
juice producer is now represented in Sweden as well as Finland and the Baltic states by national subsidiaries and powerful fruit-juice and fruit-beverage brands.