In 1979, programmer Jürgen Gelf started selling used mainframe computers. His specialist product and market knowledge allowed him to remarket IT equipment repeatedly, and he soon began leasing it too. Leasing was still a new concept in Germany at the time, but it soon became the core business of CHG Computer-Handels-Gesellschaft mbH.
Computer technology changed at the end of the 1980s when personal computers started to take over from mainframes. CHG adapted to the new requirements and supported its customers through the transformation of their systems. In the years following Jürgen Mossakowski’s appointment as CEO, the company expanded into consultancy and service provision, such as lifecycle, investment, and innovation planning or the installation and maintenance of equipment.
In the mid-1990s, several acquisitions accelerated CHG’s growth and this, combined with a restructuring drive, allowed CHG to evolve from a company focusing on southern Germany into the nationwide CHG‑MERIDIAN AG. In 2000, the company started expanding internationally, with foreign subsidiaries established in the United Kingdom and Austria. These were quickly followed by subsidiaries in the USA, Ireland, France, Belgium, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Russia, Norway, Sweden, and Denmark. In 2018, CHG-MERIDIAN opened offices in Australia and New Zealand, and now has operations in more than 25 countries. Alongside IT, the technology sectors industry, medical equipment, and industrial capital equipment – for example, car body assembly lines – were added to the CHG-MERIDIAN Group portfolio in 2004.
After more than 18 years as Chairman of the Board of Management, Jürgen Mossakowski joined the Supervisory Board in 2017. He was succeeded by Dr Mathias Wagner. All global sales activities have been brought together under the Board of Management member Frank Kottmann. Oliver Schorer has taken over the newly created IT and Services remit and Joachim Schulz remains responsible for Finance.
Jürgen Gelf founded ‘CHG Computer-Handels-Gesellschaft mbH’ on March 2, 1979, in Berg near Ravensburg (Germany). In 1982, the company changed its name to ‘CHG Computer Leasing- und Handels-Gesellschaft mbH’, and the ‘Handels-Gesellschaft’ was finally dropped altogether in 1992 when the company became ‘CHG Computer Leasing GmbH’.
After acquiring Wiesbaden-based FGM‑MERIDIAN, the two companies merged in 1996 into ‘CHG‑MERIDIAN Computer Leasing Gesellschaft mbH’, which a year later became ‘CHG‑MERIDIAN Deutsche Computer Leasing AG’. The company’s name since 2012 has been ‘CHG‑MERIDIAN AG’.
CHG‑MERIDIAN introduced its first self-developed asset management system in 1999. It was expanded in 2004 to become TESMA® Online. TESMA® stands for technology and service management. This web-based communication, planning, and administration platform give CHG‑MERIDIAN, and customers access to a shared data pool for each item of equipment. The latest version of TESMA® was released in 2016.
The original idea behind CHG‑MERIDIAN was to re-use unwanted computers. With the rise in the number of computers since the 1990s, this idea gained ever greater importance. In 2000, CHG-MERIDIAN opened its own brokerage and logistics centre in Mörfelden near Frankfurt. Lease returns have been refurbished and remarketed here ever since. In 2010, the Technology and Service Center moved to Gross-Gerau, with another centre in Skien in Norway added in 2013. Both centres specialise in erasing data, some of it sensitive, using a certified process.
Since 2014, CHG‑MERIDIAN has been offering its customers a standardised, environmentally friendly, and socially responsible re-use concept for pre-owned IT hardware, where the emphasis is on remarketing. In Belgium, CHG‑MERIDIAN started to work with the non-profit organisations Close the Gap and WorldLoop to pass on used equipment that is still in working order to schools and training establishments in developing countries. When it is no longer useful, the equipment is collected up again and recycled in an environmentally friendly way.
The business that started life in a room in Jurgen Gelf’s home now has its own impressive headquarters. CHG‑MERIDIAN moved into the new building in Weingarten near Ravensburg in 2003. It provides space for around 270. An extension with another 250 workspaces was opened in May 2016.
We have a tradition of growing with our tasks, our experience and, of course, with our customers. At the same time, we are always aware of where we come from – and where we want to be.