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In 1872 the company started as traditional trading company with associated partner firms around the world. In the mid thirties we operated a motor vessel named “PATRIOT” on the river Danube and transported machinery from Germany to the Black Sea ports and tobacco for imports back to Germany. Due to the importance of tobacco for the German army we were able to help people to escape from Nazi Germany. This helped us to rebuild the company to old and stronger reputation after the Second World War.

The company was founded 1872 by Mr August Ristelhueber in Cologne, Germany, and was later in 1899 moved by the husband of his niece, Curt Winter to the harbour city Hamburg. The basis of the company August Ristelhueber at that time was international trading and for this Curt Winter travelled the world and spun new friendships from South and North America up to European countries like Scandinavia and Portugal/Spain.

In this role he knew what his clients wanted and where he could get it. Circumvention at that times was no topic as producers and consumers just did not know from each other and they even did not want to know each other as this was the role of August Ristelhueber company (AR) and based on the personal relations and friendships of Curt Winter.


“The company grew substantially and gained the reputation of a trustworthy and reliable trading partner.“

At those times it was quite common by our clients to send money before having even talked about the products and prices. This was quite normal till the start of globalization in the end of sixties and trading houses like us at these times acted almost like banks.

Like all other companies AR was struck by the First World War 1916-18 and first economy crisis in 1929 and had to re-start from scrap twice. Thanks to the help of our good relations worldwide we recovered twice fastly and started even operating an own motor vessel named "PATRIOT" which operated on the river DANUBE transported machinery from Germany to the Black Sea and imported raw material like tobacco back to Germany. This transport of tobacco gave AR the status of protection in WW II as tobacco was urgently needed by the German army. The protection status enabled Curt Winter to help people to escape from Nazi Germany. After WW II and the third new start this human support services prompted the Jewish bank WARBURG to suggest AR as first sales representative in Germany to the US cellulose producer RAYONIER INDUSTRIES. 

After Curt Winter, his son Horst Winter focussed AR on sales of cellulose to the paper-, chemical and hygienic industry. In 1985 the son of Horst Winter, named Axel G. Winter, in the fourth generation of the owner family took over and expanded AR to sales of > 150 million (DM at that time) with various new business areas like equipment to the paper and pulp industry and the industrial treatment of various product groups like cellulose, composite materials, germ stones, cork and medical devices.


In 2001 the company was nicknamed to "ARPZ" as consequence to the ongoing globalization as August Ristelhueber as name was hard to pronounce. Another consequence to this globalization was a general new orientation of the company in 2009 into new markets and value adding roles to our clients and suppliers.

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