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100th birthday of Udo Passavant

We very warmly and sincerely congratulate the bearer of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, former managing director and owner of the Passavant Werke, and honorary citizen of the Aarbergen municipality. Thanks to his courage, his power of persuasion, and irrepressible wealth of ideas, the graduate engineer made the Passavant Group a highly successful company, and a large employer. In the middle of the 1970s, Udo Passavant and Severin Ahlmann were in contact because Passavant was planning to buy ACO. Indeed, the two companies were a perfect match in terms of their products and markets. In the end, things turned out differently. With the take-over of the main part of the Passavant Werke in 2000, they became an indispensable part of the ACO Group today, and had a major influence on our company overall.

Thank you very much, Udo Passavant!

The first catalogue with drainage products for buildings and properties, was issued in 1890 by the Passavant Werke in Aarbergen under the management of Adolph Passavant. This catalogue quickly became a standard reference for planners and architects. Even today, there are still numerous manhole covers bearing the Passavant brand throughout Germany, Europe and beyond.

Udo Passavant had already worked hand-in-hand with his father for seven years, and was involved in important decision-making processes, before completing his degree at the technical University in Munich in 1952, and finally joining the management team at the Passavant Werke. The company grew during this period from a medium-sized enterprise to a large company, which made it one of the most important employers in the region. With a 50 per cent increase in the size of the workforce, the Passavant Werke doubled their sales between 1959 and 1964, as well as doubling the size of the factory premises. The equipment and technical facilities of the foundry were continuously upgraded to satisfy the most modern standards.

Udo Passavant was awarded the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany 1st class on 8 November 1991 by the former Minister of Economic Affairs in Hessen Ernst Welteke. In his eulogy, the minister highlighted that Udo Passavant’s actions and all of his decisions were always strongly influenced by their impact on the economy as a whole, and that he prioritised business in the state of Hessen. And his involvement in the Sewage Castings Association, and the technical committee of the International Trade Fair for Water, Sewage, Waste and Raw Materials Management (IFAT) were also worthy of special praise.

In addition to his activities as the President of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce, he was also active in the region in institutions such as the Michelbacher Foundry Tennis Club, which he founded in the shadow of the foundry buildings, and the Udo Passavant Cultural Foundation, run by his wife Karin Passavant.

In 2000, the ACO Group acquired the Passavant drainage and separator technology segments, and therefore inherited the major legacy of the Aarbergen factory. Today, ACO Passavant stands for high quality products made of different materials for infrastructure and telecommunications.

More about ACO in Aarbergen is available here.