Magazine article Management Today

Planeta: A Jewel in the East German Economy

Magazine article Management Today

Planeta: A Jewel in the East German Economy

Article excerpt

Planeta: a jewel in the east German economy Planeta, manufacturer of printing presses, is a very uneast German company. The difference is obvious as soon as you enter the 'Planeta Centrum', its swish, new chrome and glass reception block. Behind the exhibition of the company's history, past the bar and conference rooms, is a large demonstration hall, where customers can see and be trained on Planeta's printers.

'We export over 90% of our output and 70% to Western countries, so we know the market economy,' says spokesman Gunter Hebig, proffering a glossy press pack (the English version).

As a result, Planeta can count itself among the top 10 companies in its industry worldwide and the market leader in large format machines. In January it left the Polygraph printing combine (of which it was the largest and best run component). Shortly thereafter, it boutht up its American agents Royal Zenith and set up a joint venture with Komeg in Saarland. There were no problems financing these deals, explains personnel director Peter Jargstorf, because 'banks were queuing up to lend us money'.

Yet despite its obvious success, Planeta will not be staying independent. …

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