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In Hamburg-Altona, Max Holz joins forces with brothers A. and E. Gerling to bring steel bottles filled with gas, such as hydrogen, to the market. On this basis, they found the limited partnership Gerling, Holz & Co. on 28 May 1904, and establish their headquarters at Königstraße 4. As agreed, the Gerling brothers leave the company after four years. Nevertheless, the company name is continued.





Joachim Holz succeeds his father Max after his death. Under his leadership, the company survives the Second World War. After the war ends in 1945, along with the continuation of the business, the entrepreneur also considers expanding with the foundation of independent branches to enable them to do business beyond the borders of the occupation zones. The current Hanau branch is founded in the autumn directly after the war ends, followed by a plant in Düsseldorf just two years later.




When Joachim Holz dies in January 1953, his widow, Minna Bender-Holz, takes over the company with the support of her brother-in-law, Dr Waldemar Holz. Her son, Kuno Holz, becomes a partner in the limited partnership in November 1974.



Gerling, Holz & Co. takes over Ammoniak-Verkaufs-Gesellschaft (AVG) in Hamburg in 1969 and, one year later, Rohstoff- und Chemikalien GmbH in Hanover. Both companies were successful in the ammonia trade. In the seventies, new buildings are constructed at all locations, and still shape the face of Gerling, Holz & Co. today: in 1971, the business premises in Kinzigheimer Weg in Hanau are purchased, followed by the Ruhrstraße in Hamburg in 1976, and in 1978, the Düsseldorf branch in Dormagen finally receives its new premises.




In 1985, the GHC Bavarian branch is opened, firstly in Garching. The plant moves in the autumn of 1990, after the new build is completed in Breitenau. Wollschläger GmbH & Co. KG in Bochum, which specialises in the ammonia trade, is acquired at the beginning of 1990.




After the fall of the Berlin Wall, GHC takes over part of the former GDR combine “TeGa Leipzig”, which then becomes the Nauendorf/Halle branch on 1 July 1991. This is followed two and a half years later by a step in the direction of internationalisation when GHC Invest s.r.o is founded in Prague. On 1 January 1992, GHC Gerling, Holz & Co. Handels GmbH is founded, which continues the operative gas company of the limited partnership with its five branches at the time. In 1994, they receive the EN ISO 9002 certification, which is replaced in 2003 by the EN ISO 9001 standard. With this, GHC becomes the first gas company in Germany to be certified. In 1996, Kuno Holz’ son Joachim takes over the company.


In October 1999, SBF, a subsidiary of Preussag AG, is acquired, which leads to GHC becoming the clear market leader in Germany in the distribution of chlorine in steel bottles and drums. An extensive nationwide network of stockists is established to enable timely and local delivery to customers, especially in the case of refrigerants. On its 75th anniversary, GHC is firmly established on the supplier market and delivers across the globe.




Kuno Holz ends his active involvement in the company in 2001. In the early summer of 2001, a great-grandson of the founder, Joachim Holz, becomes the business director of the operative gas company.

Since 2009, GHC has been purifying and distributing hydrogen sulphide of different purities and liquefied under pressure at the chemical site in Leuna. We operate plants for the purification, bottling and storage of hydrogen sulphide in a self-contained industrial area in the dynamic economic region of Leipzig-Halle. The product is needed, for example, in semiconductor manufacturing, in the treatment of metal surfaces or refinement of mineral oils.


In its current form, Gerling, Holz & Co. KG is a holding company that includes shareholdings and subsidiaries. GHC Gerling, Holz & Co. Handels GmbH covers the operative field of gases and has more than 200 employees across its seven plants.


GHC currently receives international recognition for its high level of expertise in flammable, corrosive or toxic gases and liquids, which points to a future in which the company will deal with other problematic materials. Future expansion to include comparable product areas is therefore just as conceivable as expansion of the company across several regions.