The Mittelstand Is At That Awkward Age

Karl Tack never expected to preside over a 500-meter-deep hole in the ground. Content as a teacher, he made it clear when he married one of Manfred Rhodius' daughters that he would not run Gebruder Rhodius, the family mineral-water business, tucked away in the Eifel hills south of Bonn. But in 1987, when his father-in-law divvied up ownership of the company, Tack felt he had to do his part to keep the business going. So after a year of traveling in Australia with his family, he decided to go for it.

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