Capital: € 500 million
Age: 43
Born: 11/21/1976
Country of origin: Germany
Source of wealth: Entrepreneurs
Last updated: 2022

Short introduction

Lars Windhorst is an entrepreneur from Germany and co-founder of the Sapinda Group. In 2015 his net worth was estimated at £ 320m. He founded his first teenage company and filed for bankruptcy in 2003 as a result of the dot-com bubble. The following year, Windhorst founded the Sapinda group. After the restructuring, Sapinda Holding BV, founded in 2009, is the parent company of the group. Windhorst is its non-executive chairman.

In December 2007, shortly after Christmas, Windhorst was seriously injured in a plane crash in Kazakhstan. One of the pilots died when the Bombardier Challenger 604 bumped into a wall, came off the runway in Almaty and exploded.

Early life

At the age of 14, Windhorst, the son of a local stationery dealer, turned the family garage in his home town of Rahden into a makeshift computer lab. He mobilized his classmates to help him build PCs that he later sold in his father’s shop while looking for suppliers of individual components in China.

He founded his first company at school in 1993. Since he was a minor, his parents helped him manage his operations by signing contracts on his behalf and driving him to work. Windhorst became known as one of the most successful young entrepreneurs in Germany. As a child prodigy, he and Bill Gates were invited to travel to Asia with former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl as part of the official government delegation. On this trip, Windhorst made international business contacts.

Career

In October 1993, Windhorst founded his first company, the Chinese businessman Ming Rong Zhang, Windhorst Electronics GmbH. The activities of Windhorst Electronics GmbH initially concentrated on the import and trade of electronic components and computer parts from Asia as well as the sale of IT products throughout Germany and Europe. Just one year after the company was founded, Windhorst Electronics achieved sales of 80 million euros with a total of 80 employees.

In 1995 Windhorst moved to Hong Kong and founded a company to operate the group in Asia. The Windhorst Group expanded its business as a trading and investment company in the fields of electronics, industry, trade, real estate and finance until 1996. The company had offices and offices in Europe and Asia, including mainland China and Vietnam.

In 2000, Windhorst founded Windhorst New Technologies AG with a focus on investments in the areas of the Internet and new technologies. In 2002, Windhorst New Technologies AG was to be listed on the Frankfurt stock exchange. With the outbreak of the economic crisis, the group got into difficulties and had to file for bankruptcy in 2003.

In 2004, Lars Windhorst co-founded the Sapinda Investment Group, which coordinates financing with its subsidiary Anoa Capital to fund public, private and start-up companies. In around five years, Sapinda has made investments worth more than 2 billion euros. During the global financial crisis, the group and especially the German Vatas Holding GmbH suffered significant losses. As a result of the global financial crisis in 2008, the company began restructuring talks in the second half of the year. in January 2009, the partners had to file for bankruptcy with their German subsidiary, Vatas.

In April 2009 all business activities were restructured and Sapinda Holding BV was founded from the new parent company of the group. The group now has offices in several countries and employs a team of more than 80 people worldwide. Sapinda Holding BV combines investments in agriculture and food processing, mining / raw materials, oil and gas production and invests in public and private companies. It also has investments in technology, media and real estate. In February 2018, Sapinda acquired the luxury brand La Perla.

Career highlights

Lars Windhorst founded Amatheon Agri together with Carl Heinrich Bruhn to enable Sapinda Holding BV to become involved in the African agricultural sector, according to the German news magazine Der Spiegel. Windhorst said in an interview that the Sapinda business organized investments of around EUR 3.5 billion between 2009 and 2012, including loans for companies such as Air Berlin and Infineon. Sapinda’s partners include Roland Berger, a management consultant whose advisory board is headed by Hubertus von Grünberg, who is also the chairman of the Swiss group ABB Ltd. is.

Windhorst filed for bankruptcy in summer 2007. According to an article in the German news magazine Focus on September 3, 2007, the lawsuit filed by his common creditor Ulrich Marseille was rejected by the Federal Court of Justice in August. which means that Windhorst’s debts have been paid.

In 2009, the Berlin public prosecutor charged Windhorst with fraud, breach of trust, embezzlement and several bankruptcy crimes. Windhorst’s breach of trust included the transfer of EUR 800,000 to one of his alternative accounts. Prosecutors agreed to drop the fraud charges if he fined € 1 million, reimbursed his alleged victim, and admitted infidelity after a settlement of appeals. In a proceeding started on December 18, 2009, the proceeding was discontinued and the amount repaid.

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