Ludwig Merckle is a German businessman who has an estimated net worth of $7.1 billion. He is the Chairman of Merckle GmbH – a pharmaceutical company – that he inherited from his father after his death. He was associated with the company since 1997 but in 2008, Oliver Windholz took over from him. It has been an extraordinary story for Ludwig as he had inherited a fortune which was totally debt-ridden. Ludwig paid off a majority of the debts by selling off his assets and reducing his share to a mere 25% from 74% in the Heidelberg Cement. He also had to sell off Ratiopharm for $5 billion. Further he is also the owner of Phoenix, a major pharmaceutical distributor in Europe.
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Ludwig was the only heir to the company, Merckle Group, which was owned by his father. Although he inherited a huge debt-plagued fortune after the death of his father, he took only three years to turn things around in his favor. It is true that he had to borrow heavily to survive in the business but he has done extremely well and the debts have been remarkably dealt with. He restores the Merckle Group successfully and in 2011 he was nominated for the Entrepreneur of the Year Award.
Ludwig Merckle now lives in Dresden along with his wife, Ursula, and 2 children. The businessman who passed out from University of Mannheim is a true reflection of strength and self-belief and today he is the 13th richest man in Germany.