Frederick Alfred Lohmann founded the Lohmann & Co. company in Sydney as a trading house for Australian wool. In 1901, Lohmann moved the headquarters to Bremen.
In 1923, Friedrich Wilhelm Hempel senior joined the company and established a metal and ore department. This grew to such an extent that it was able to develop further on its own; it was registered in Berlin under the name of Lohmann & Co Erze und Metalle, with Friedrich Wilhelm Hempel senior as partner.
In 1949 he acquired all other shares of the company and changed on 1 January 1950 the name to F. W. Hempel & Co. Erze und Metalle. The company since then has continued on its path of successful development right up to the present.
The second generation, under Friedrich-Wilhelm Hempel junior, who joined the company in 1963, moved forward with the expansion. In the early 70s, the company diversified to form an international group of companies covering different business activities.
After the shock of the first oil crisis, buisness was extended to include high tech products and hotel operations. When Friedrich-Wilhelm Hempel junior became sole owner of the group in 1988, the headquarters of the company were moved from Bremen to Düsseldorf. Since 1990, the business of the company has been in trading, handling of metal goods including the storage and the prefabrication, processing and manufacture of semi-finished metal products and the recycling of metals.