More of 100 years of passion

At the beginning of the last century, the Dutch trader P. van Wylick arrived in Germany and established a fruit and vegetable wholesale business. In 1937, the company Fruchtimport P. van Wylick GmbH was founded, focusing on the German wholesale markets.

In 1984, the long-standing managing director Rolf Allerding was given the opportunity by the founding family to participate in the management buyout of the company. The Allerding family, now in its second generation, has since been managing the business with the Dutch partners as passive shareholders.

New Perspektives

To meet the challenges of the market, vanWylick struck out on a new path in 2010, initiating a new alliance in the fruit industry. The Dutch partners withdrew in 2011. The strategic partners – namely, Fyffes plc, Dublin/Ireland; Gemüsering GmbH, Stuttgart/Germany; and AGRARIA Beteiligungs GmbH, representing the Allerding family – then each held a one-third share. This structure provides the company with the opportunity to combine the benefits of an agile, medium-sized, owner-operated company with the potential of a large corporate alliance.

This concept has proven successful for all partners and for our customers in particular. Against this backdrop, the idea was made complete in January 2015, when the South African Capespan Group joined as a partner. Each of the four partners currently holds a 25% stake in the company.

Die Chronik der vanWylick GmbH

– 1990 The Dutch trader P. van Wylick initiates business activities in the Ruhr region.
1937 Establishment of “Fruchtimport P. van Wylick GmbH” with German management and headquarters in Düsseldorf.
1945 Reconstruction after the war, with initial import ties to Spain, development of banana ripening facilities.
1967 Rolf Allerding takes over as managing director. Turnover reaches approx. DM 55 million (EUR 28 mn), with 20 branches and subsidiaries.
1969 The computerised age begins with Nixdorf.
1971 The company concentrates on 12 strategically important sites.
Turnover reaches approx. DM 93 million (EUR 47 mn).
1972 The “tobsine” brand is launched, standing for premium Spanish citrus fruit.
1975 The next generation in computer systems (MDS) is introduced, with data being transferred for the first time by telephone.
1980 Introduction of direct marketing (telephone sales) at the Düsseldorf headquarters, aiming to make sale of goods more efficient while preserving their quality by distributing directly from the ports and from Spain.
1982 vanWylick operates with all the requisite boards.
1984 Rolf Allerding acquires 50 percent of the shares in Fruchtimport P. van Wylick GmbH as part of a management buyout.
1985 Turnover exceeds DM 200 million (EUR 101 mn).
1990 Following the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, subsidiaries are opened in Dresden, Leipzig and Magdeburg.
1991 Turnover increases to approx. DM 391 million (EUR 198 mn).
1993 The EU Market Regulation for Bananas comes into effect. Only licensed bananas are now eligible for import. Foundation of a strategic procurement alliance, the Alpha Group, for jointly importing bananas with the Edeka Fruchkontor fruit marketing company and the Cobana Group.
1995 A change in generation, with Jens Allerding joining the company and taking over the management of the subsidiary in Essen.
1996 Acquisition of sites in Nuremberg, Zwickau and Hanover from the liquidated company Früco GmbH. Turnover now surpasses DM 400 million (EUR 202 mn).
1997 The Essen subsidiary is totally destroyed by fire and reopened after 7 months of construction.
1999 Turnover amounts to DM 431 million (EUR 220 mn).
2000 The boards, as important strategic procurement partners to vanWylick, are all dissolved with the exception of Zespri. Key account management is introduced.
2001 Acquisition of J.A. Kahl GmbH & Co., Munich.
2003 The change in generation is officially complete: Dirk Allerding (commerce), Jens Allerding (sales) and Peter Malsbender (finance) are appointed as managing directors.
2004 The company is given a new corporate identity, changes its name to Fruchimport vanWylick GmbH (vanWylick) and stakes its claim as “Frische die ankommt – The way to freshness”.
All operations are certified by International Featured Standard (IFS), and a centralised quality management system is installed.
2005 Takeover of the centralised ripening facility of Edeka Fruchtkontor in Cologne. vanWylick now has a ripening capacity of more than 170,000 boxes per week and assumes third place in the market with a share of approx. 17 percent. Turnover amounts to EUR 256 million.
2006 Another fire destroys the subsidiary in Dortmund. Reconstruction, and reinstatement of operations after 6 months.
At the end of 2006, the EU licensing system for bananas expires, meaning they can be freely imported once more.
2008 The company achieves a turnover of EUR 287 million.
2009 Takeover of PLUS by EDEKA/NETTO is complete. vanWylick thus loses its biggest banana customer, causing sales to drop by more than 25 percent to EUR 213 mn.
The Munich site (J.A. Kahl GmbH & Co.) is integrated into the company under new management, as the vanWylick subsidiary Munich.
2010 Restructuring leads to organisation of the subsidiaries into 3 regions (North West, East and South).
vanWylick acquires 52 percent of fruitOn GmbH, which supplies companies and schools with fruit.
As of 31.12., the Gemüsering Gruppe Stuttgart, a major producer and distributor of regionally and internationally grown vegetables, acquires 50 percent of the Dutch founding family’s holdings, thereby becoming a strategic shareholder.
Due to the financial and economic crisis, sales decrease to EUR 200 mn.
2011 On 25.01, Fyffes plc, Dublin, joins as a further strategic investor, acquiring 33.3 percent of the shares in vanWylick and equalling the shares of Agraria Beteiligungs GmbH (Allerding family) and Gemüsering GmbH. All three shareholders now have an equal stake of one-third in the company.
In March, vanWylick opens a depot in Dresden solely for supplying the Kaufland chain of supermarkets in Eastern Europe.
2012 In March 2012 Peter Malsbender celebrated his retirement. His department is now managed by Till Bornhausen, Member of the Management Board.
At the same time Thomas Endres, Head of Region West, is elected as further member of the Management Team.
2013 Fruiton Köln GmbH acquires 52% of the shares in “Fresh bringt’s”. The business operations are relocated to the vanWylick branch in Munich under the new name Fruiton Munich.
2015 With the investment of Capespan Group Ltd., South Africa, in vanWylick in january the company can succeeds the strategy to offer its core products like bananas, pineapples, grapes, citrus, peme and stone fruits integrated out of one hand from field to customer delivery. The shareholders are now, each holding a 25% stake, Fyffes plc. Ireland, Gemuesering GmbH, Stuttgart the Allerding family and the Capespan Group, South Africa.
2016 Effective 1 January 2016, vanWylick acquires the shares of Fruiton GmbH founder, Olaf Schanz. Now with a 95% stake in the company, vanWylick looks forward to continuing the growth course of this young company in cooperation with Fruiton’s managing director, Sheila Gerlinger, who holds the remaining 5% stake.