Founded in December 1892 by Henry Wiechers and Paul Helm, the company initially exported all kinds of consumer goods to former British India and parts of West Africa. Their own subsidiaries in Karachi and Monrovia contributed to their success until 1914.


After the First World War, Hans E.B. Kruse, who had lived many years in India, developed the company to become one of the leading export houses for textiles, tools and sundries that sold on the bazaars from Lahore to Madras. During the difficult post-war period in 1945 Hans E.B. Kruse became Hamburg's first Senator for Trade, Shipping and Manufacturing.


When Dr. Hellmut Kruse entered the family business in 1949 a new era started. New markets were developed in South-East Asia, the Middle East and East Africa, followed by the French speaking countries in West Africa. With the growth of textile sales, this became our main product line. Over the years, the principal sources of supply have switched from West Germany to Eastern Europe and the Far East.


In 1986 Dr. Hans Fabian Kruse became the third generation to join the company. He introduced new information and communication systems and extended the activities to Latin America, offering our clients an efficient service for various technical products.


At the start of 1995 the activities of "O. Priess & Co.", a company specialized in quartz materials and export to South America, were integrated. In early 1999 this was followed by "Hellmuth Carroux" - a specialist in the export of pharmaceutical raw materials, herbs and spices, dealing principally in Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa. Since April 2002 a new division of "O. Priess & Co." was established to continue the former business of "Hermann Strack", a company involved with the export of chemical raw materials to Latin America. Beginning of 2004 the activities of "OVEREX Horst Schultz GmbH" were also added to the company's portfolio.


In the future we will continue to provide our customers and suppliers with excellent service while we adapt to the constant changes of the markets. We are always looking to provide our customers with new products and improved services, and to do so we remain interested in growth through further business mergers and cooperations.




The India Department (1910)



The Africa Department (1912)



The Reception Area (1911)