The first reference to the A. Nattermann & Cie. can be found in the Kölnische Volkszeitung on January 21, 1906 under the heading "Entries in the commercial register". It had the legal form of an oHG with two personally liable partners , named after August Nattermann and Rudolf Lappe. August Nattermann (born March 29, 1861 in Cologne, December 9, 1923 ibid) studied pharmacology in Cologne and set up the “Augusta drugstore” at Stephanstraße 13 (near St. Maria im Kapitol ) with his wife Augusta Baur in the house next door to his father-in-law . He knew the official drug catalog and had practical experience in pharmacy-friendly drug preparation. As a 45-year-old, he used this knowledge to found a pharmaceutical company. As a partner, he found the businessman Rudolf Lappe (born April 17, 1878 in Wuppertal-Barmen, February 27, 1954 in Cologne), who was currently completing his commercial training at the Cologne drug dealer Coenen & Dr. Schieffer had graduated.
Both began to develop ready-made preparations with standardized medicinal content - a novelty that was successful on the market from the start. In March 1909, Rudolf Lappe appeared in the commercial register as the sole owner and continued the Nattermann company. August Nattermann remained involved as a partner and, however, cooperated with the pharmacist and chemist Heinrich Schieffer, with whom he had been working since 1912 under the name “Dr. Schieffer “sold natural remedies such as metabolic salt, blood purification tea and iron tincture. August Nattermann continued his research until 1923 and died in Cologne at the age of 62.
His heirs and his partner Rudolf Lappe continued the company. In 1926 the Nattermann company built its first own factory at Eupener Straße 159a-161 for researching, developing and manufacturing herbal medicines. The company initially manufactured "non-ethical", ie over-the-counter preparations, followed later by "ethical" prescription-only products ; it specialized early on in herbal medicine. An early product from this plant was the blood purification tea "Nattermann". The company built up its own research department, from the brand emerged ( Biovital is the combination product with the longest tradition, patented in 1917; fat-sapping metabolism -Tee Ramend , 1934; cough medicine Bronchicum ; Maaloxan against heartburn , stomach and intestinal drug Colagogum ; lipid lowering Lipostabil ). Soy (Lipostabil), artichoke (Colagogum) or other plant extracts were the core of Nattermann research.
In 1950 with 284 employees 4.2 million DM were converted, in 1964 with 654 employees 24.4 million DM. In 1974, 2495 employees achieved a turnover of 248 million marks worldwide, in 1980 it was around 2000 employees and 315 million marks. Since 1952 the "Dr. Schieffer Arzneimittel GmbH “to the growing Nattermann group. The trademark "Phytostandard Nattermann" was regarded as a precisely determinable, constant composition of active ingredients and in 1956 became the quality seal of modern natural medicinal products. When the initially hesitant pharmacists recognized the resulting advantages after completing the medical profession, Nattermann's rise to the top group of German pharmaceutical manufacturers could no longer be stopped. Nattermann finally ranked 6th among the largest drug manufacturers in Germany. In 1958, the company presented the first tube tea preparations in order to preserve the genuine active ingredient structure of medicinal plants.
The foundation stone for the new company location in Cologne-Bocklemünd was laid in 1965 at Nattermannallee 1. Like many streets in Cologne, it was named after the company founder at the urging of Cologne companies. During earthworks, Cologne's most northerly ribbon ceramic settlement from around 4200 BC was found here . BC, which was partially excavated. A striking administration building was built on an area of 37,000 m³ with production facilities and a cultivation area for medicinal plants , into which the company moved in August 1967. In 1972 the company increased its sales from DM 176 million to DM 193 million, and global sales rose from DM 227 million to DM 244 million, with Nattermann gaining a strong market position in the areas of laxatives ( Depuran ) and respiration ( Bronchicum ). In 1973, a pharmaceutical plant was set up in Bocklemünd that brought together the parts of the business that were scattered across Cologne. The son of the co-founder, Rolf Lappe (born May 3, 1912 in Cologne, † March 11, 1992 there) was managing director until May 1980 and switched to the supervisory board. In 1981 Nattermann fell into the red for the first time because of the so-called “negative list in the health sector”, so that expansion plans prompted the medium-sized family company to purchase the US pharmaceutical manufacturer “Lemmon Company, Sellersville” for US $ 20 million in 1981. But the loss-making US subsidiary brought Nattermann even further into the red, so that Nattermann had to sell 40% of the property, in particular the Cologne headquarters, to Deutsche Anlagen-Leasing GmbH for 42 million DM in 1983 as part of a sale-lease-back . The profit of over DM 10 million that arose in 1983 came mainly from the realization of hidden reserves resulting from the sale-lease-back transaction. By January 1985, Nattermann completed the concentration of the manufacturing operations on the company premises in Bocklemünd; the construction costs for this have amounted to 200 million DM since 1965.
In December 1985, the loss-making US subsidiary Lemmon was sold to Teva for US $ 13 million , but this did not eliminate Nattermann's economic crisis. The family shareholders were unable to compensate for the losses incurred.
As a result, the family business Nattermann was sold to the French chemical and pharmaceutical company Rhône-Poulenc in September 1986 . In December 1999 this merged with Hoechst AG and founded a new company called Aventis , which in turn was taken over by Sanofi in December 2004 . Since then, Nattermann has belonged to Sanofi. Under the direction of Sanofi, 440 employees are currently employed at Bocklemünder Nattermannallee, producing 100 million pharmaceuticals annually. Nattermann manufactures around 15% of its preparations for the German market, 85% are exported all over the world, mainly to France.
The administration building was brought into the "BioCampus Cologne" biotechnology park in April 2002, in which Nattermann is still based. The former head office was renovated by January 2006.
- Ulrich S. Soènius / Jürgen Wilhelm, Kölner Personen-Lexikon , 2008, p. 316
- Marion Werner, From Adolf-Hitler-Platz to Ebertplatz , 2008, p. 44 f.
- Walter Meier-Randt, The Stone Age in Cologne , 1975, p. 55
- Thorpe and Warrier Limited, Who's who in the World Herbal Medical Industry , 1993, p. 119
- Chemical Industry, Journal for the German Chemical Industry, Volume 25, 1973, p. 368
- DIE ZEIT of September 9, 1983, Heinz-Günter Kemmer: Expansion paid dearly
- Kölnische Rundschau from February 6, 2006, success story with roots, leaves and flowers