Ludwig Merckle started his career as a strategic consultant at Roland Berger in 1993. In 1995, he joined the family Business as an assistant manager. In 1997, he was promoted to CEO of Merckle GmbH, parent company of ratiopharm GmbH. In 2005, he was appointed CEO of VEM Vermögensverwaltung GmbH, and in 2009, CEO of Merckle Service GmbH, after his Father, Adolf Merckle, founder of the Merckle group, committed suicide and left the family group in debt.
In March 2010, the generic drugmaking arm of Merckle, Ratiopharm, was sold to Teva Pharmaceutical Industries for €3.6 billion, 55% of HeidelbergCement for €2.5 billion, and other assets to clear their debts.
According to Forbes, Merckle has a net worth of $5.6 billion, as of June 2016.