About us

Our heritage

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

Our heritage

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

A vintage door


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Hygia 1962


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Engineering office at Tuchenhagen


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In 1931 Otto Tuchenhagen founded a small engineering business to develop dairy technology. His innovations went on to revolutionize hygienic processing in the dairy industry.

Company milestones

Founding & growth: 1881

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


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


  • 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



  • 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, and then Richard Merton, move to England
  • Extensive destruction of German MG facilities as a result of WWII

Invitation AGM 1942


  • 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

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
mg 1971


  • 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 


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


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


  • Metallgesellschaft AG becomes mg technologies ag
  • Business focus on mechanical- and plant engineering and process equipment
  • Chemicals division dissolved
mg AGM

The new GEA: 2005-2006

  • GEA AG merges with parent company mg technologies ag
  • mg technologies ag renamed: GEA Group Aktiengesellschaft
  • Huppmann acquisition
  • Group headquarter moves from Frankfurt to Bochum
GEA Logo 2005


  • GEA group structure further streamlined and centralized
  • Group headquarter moves from Bochum to Düsseldorf
  • Company purpose launched: Engineering for a better world
GEA building 2011


  • GEA divisions organized into 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
GEA Logo


  • 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 announces its Mission 26 and ESG strategy
  • Net-zero target for 2040 set as well as ambitious interim goals until 2030 which are subsequently validated by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi)
Mission 26 logo


  • New GEA brand identity rolled out globally
GEA logo

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

Aerofreeze, Aeromatic-Fielder, Aquarius, Aseptomag, Atlas, Avapac, AWP, Barr-Rosin, Belam, Bischoff, Bowen, Breconcherry, Huppmann, Brouwers, CFS, Colby, Comas, Courtoy, Collette, CMT, Diessel, Dixie Union, Elba, Eurotek, Exergy, FES, FIL, Goedhart, Grasso, Grenco, Hilge, HouleIntec, Ilka Mafa, Imaforni, Kestner, Koppens, Krämer + Grebe, Laguilharre, Liquid Processing, Lyophil, Matal, Messo, Milfos, Mullerup, Niro, Niro Soavi, Niro PT, Norbco, Nu-Con, Pavan, Pharma Systems, Procomac, Scami, Scanio, Scan-Vibro, Surge, Sterner, TDS, Technofrigo, TiromatTuchenhagenVIPOLL, Westfalia Landtechnik, Westfalia Separator, WestfaliaSurge, Wiegand, Wilarus, Wolfking

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