German Drugstore Entrepreneur Dirk Rossmann Joins Billionaire Ranks

Today we take our local drugstores for granted.
They are everywhere in large cities in the U.S. and
in Europe. But that wasn’t the case in Germany in
the early 1970s. Dirk Rossmann, 66, founded the
first self-service drugstore in the country in 1972,
and has since turned Dirk Rossmann GmbH into a
company with 2,775 stores in six European
countries and sales of $7.9 billion in 2012.
Rossmann’s 60% stake in the private drugstore
chain makes him worth well over the $1 billion,
according to research by FORBES. Rossmann GmbH
is the second largest pharmacy chain in Germany,
behind a company called dm. It also has stores in
Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Albania and
Turkey. Sales in the non-German stores grew 12%
in 2011 to $1.76 billion (1.32 billion Euros).
Revenues for the group as a whole rose 16% in
In the 1980s Rossmann sold a 40% stake in the
company to Hanover Finanz, which was then sold in
2004 to the A.S. Watson unit of Hong Kong
billionaire Li Ka-shing’s Hutchison Whampoa
conglomerate. The transaction price was not
Rossmann’s two sons, Daniel and Raoul, also work
for the family company, which is still run by Dirk
Dirk Rossmann also owns 25% of listed German
private equity firm Deutsche Beteiligungs AG
(commonly called DBAG), a stake worth about $95
million. Together, his stakes in the drugstore chain
and the private equity firm are worth an estimated
$1.9 billion. Spokespeople for Rossmann GmbH
have not replied to a request for comment from
FORBES about Mr. Rossmann’s net worth.
Rossmann started a charitable foundation in 1991
focused on family planning, Deutsche Stiftung
Weltbevölkerung. He received the Federal Merit
Cross in 1998 for his commitment to the


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