Lars Windhorst - At a Glance
A well known German entrepreneur Lars Windhorst,of Rahden, Germany, has been in business since 1993 at the age of 16. As a young businessman he became famous as he was amongst the youngest successful entrepreneurs in Germany and the only one who was invited to join ex German Chancellor Dr. Helmut Kohl on official state visits. These early successes generated excellent business connections all over the world, including being invited to become Global Leader for Tomorrow at the World Economic Forum in Davos as the youngest participant at that time.
Lars Windhorst - Business Career
Lars Windhorst co-founded his first company, Windhorst Electronics in October 1993 together with the Chinese businessman Ming Rong Zhang. Windhorst Electronics imported electronic components and computer parts from Asia, assembling personal computers and distributing IT products across Germany and Europe. A year after the company's foundation, Windhorst Electronics reached 50M USD in sales and had close to 80 employees. Shortly thereafter Lars Windhorst was recognized by the German press and public as the youngest successful entrepreneur.
At the end of 1995 Lars Windhorst partly moved to Hong Kong and established Windhorst Asia Pacific Holdings Ltd, a holding company for the group's Asian activities By 1996, the Windhorst Group had diversified into a trading and investment conglomerate with activities in electronics, industry, trading, real estate and finance. The company expanded assets, operations and offices in Europe and Asia including Mainland China and Vietnam. In the following years Lars Windhorst founded two additional investment and holding companies named Windhorst Capital Holding GmbH and Windhorst AG.
In 2000 Windhorst AG, which was then the holding company of Windhorst Electronics GmbH and Windhorst Capital Holding Gmbh started to make substantial investments in the internet area and shifted its focus to the New Economy with the goal of listing the company on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. As the internet bubble burst and the stock market and internet market completely collapsed in 2001, the company got into severe difficulties and ultimately went bankrupt in 2003.
Nevertheless Lars Windhorst demonstrated an impressive business recovery when according to the press he managed to earn millions in a short time by clever deal making in the finance business. He co-founded the investment group Sapinda in 2004 and the group was primarily backed by a prominent South African industrialist family and completed investment transactions in excess of 2 billion EUR over the last 5 years. Due to the impact of the financial crisis in 2008, the company went through a restructuring phase in the 2nd half of 2008 and in January 2009 the shareholders had no other choice than declaring insolvency for the German subsidiary. In April 2009 all activities assets were completely restructured and a new holding company was established and capitalized by the shareholders. Lars Windhorst is in charge of the major part the business and is running the Sapinda UK Limited as a CEO while he keeps also being responsible for the German subsidiary Sapinda Deutschland GmbH where he acts as a Managing Director.
Continue reading about Lars Windhorst's career, as well as business projects and personal background of the German strategist and investor.
In an interview with Sueddeutsche Magazine Lars Windhorst acknowledged his business downturns but said he believes the worst is behind him. Looking back, decisions that he made 15 years ago turned out to be wrong in light of today's perspective. In his opinion, he became involved in complicated projects without having a strong base, lacking risk protection, and did not have the professional team behind him to stay focused. He learned many lessons, and learned them well. He has incorporated many risk-reducing tactics into his new business dealings and is now prepared to continue his entrepreneurship for the next few decades.
About Sapinda UK Limited and Sapinda Deutschland GmbH
Sapinda UK Limited and Sapinda Deutschland GmbH, are both subsidiaries of Sapinda Holding B.V., an Amsterdam based international investment company which invests in public equity, private equity and debt.