Bad Soden, Germany,

Messer: “The development of new premises creates value”

Messer lays the foundation stone for new corporate headquarters in Bad Soden, in which the companies of the Messer Group will once again be brought together under one roof.

“A familiar space provides security, freedom boosts creativity and the development of new premises creates value,” stressed Stefan Messer, owner of the Messer Group, at the laying of the foundation stone for the new corporate headquarters at the site of the former railway station in the town of Bad Soden in the Taunus region. The move to the new headquarters in April 2011 will once again see Messer Group, Messer Cutting and Welding, Castolin Eutectic and BIT Analytical Instruments brought together under one roof for the first time after a period of over ten years during which these companies were run separately.

At present, however, the building site is a scene of intense activity. Work has already commenced on the new office building, which will feature an underground car park. Approximately 20 construction workers are at work on the building site every day. The laying of the foundation stone was a symbolic act to which Stefan Messer invited a number of speakers, including Berthold R. Gall, the head of the Main-Taunus district authority, and Klaus Plösser, a Bad Soden councillor. Together with Stefan Messer’s wife Petra Messer, who is a member of the Supervisory Board of Messer Group GmbH as well as the joint managing director of real estate company Hardtberg Grundstücksgesellschaft, which is responsible for the project, they sank a copper pipe containing the building contracts, copies of the latest regional newspapers and a set of euro coins into the sandstone foundation stone, which is later to be integrated into the façade of the building.

Having bought the site around the historic station building in the centre of Bad Soden from Deutsche Bahn through real estate company Hardtberg Grundstücksgesellschaft in the summer of 2008, entrepreneur Stefan Messer is investing a total of around 20 million euros in the new building. In the future, Messer will manage its business from the five-storey office building which will house 150 employees. An adjacent building, to be named the Adolf Messer Forum after the founder of the company, will feature a conference centre in which the Messer Group intends to hold symposia on a range of specialist topics. The Adolf Messer Forum will also house one of the most modern permanent exhibitions on the production and use of gases such as oxygen, nitrogen, argon, carbon dioxide and helium, as well as the spectrum of applications of welding, cutting and wear protection technologies. The Messer subsidiary BIT Analytical Instruments, a contract manufacturer of medical precision instruments, will display exhibits in the Adolf Messer Forum including analytical instruments for human samples. The centrepiece and pièce de résistance of the exhibition will be a restored historic industrial gas production unit fromthe 1950s, including an almost 10 metre-high gas separation column, a number of gas tanks several metres high and a large flywheel. The Adolf Messer Forum will also house the family holding company as well as the two non-profit foundations. The question of how best to integrate the historic station building into the overall development is currently being examined.