Family Affair: Rise of the Mittelstand

Berleburger Schaumstoffwerk

Ready, set, go! The running track masters
Ready, set, go! The running track masters

Name: Berleburger Schaumstoffwerk
Founded: 1954
Location: Bad Berleburg, Germany
Employees: c. 400

Five members of the Pöppel family run BSW, full name Berleburger Schaumstoffwerk. Ulf and Rainer Pöppel are CEOs, and Dirk Pöppel is the company's CFO. Their grandfather, Karl Pöppel, founded the company in 1954.

BSW specializes in manufacturing "elastic sports floorings" and insulation products using polyurethane-bound rubber granules. Today, BSW's Regupol Athletics Tracks are used in some of the world's elite sporting events, as well as in schools and playgrounds.

BSW also produces foams and supplies "compound foam as a raw material for the manufacturing industry," according to its website.

The company's reach is global, and it exports across the world. Family-owned and-operated, BSW has an annual turnover of more than $110 million, four production plants – including one in Lebanon, Pennsylvania – and four affiliate companies.

"We are not on the stock exchange, the value of company after the next quarter does not play a role to any of us," Ulf Pöppel told CNBC. "We are spending a lot of money on employees and on training – that's one way to make sure that we do not run out of human intelligence," Pöppel added.