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Clariant history
We are a dynamic company with a dynamic history. Many ups and downs characterize Clariant and have created a storm-tested specialty chemicals company. We are taking a look back.
Final milestone in 2022
Clariant’s portfolio transformation
In early January 2022, Clariant completes the divestment of its pigments business, concluding the transformation into a high-value specialty chemical company. Later in the year, the company announces a simplified organizational and leadership structure, replacing the Executive Committee by the Executive Steering Committee.
New corporate 2021
purpose underpins focus on sustainability transformation
Clariant continues its transformational journey. In spring, the company establishes the joint venture Clariant IGL Specialty Chemicals Private Limited (CISC), followed by the agreements with the Heubach Group and SK Capital Partners to divest the pigments business and, finally, the acquisition of the remaining 70% stake in Beraca. The repositioned portfolio is truly a specialty chemicals portfolio with a strong focus on innovation and sustainability. Both also reflected in the new corporate purpose that is unveiled towards the end of the year: "Greater chemistry − between people and planet".
Continuing the 2020
transformation process and introducing a new CEO
It is not only the Corona pandemic that challenges Clariant in 2020, but also the transformation process of the company into a pure specialty chemicals player. After the successful completion of the sale of the masterbatches business to Avient (formerly PolyOne) on July 1, the organizational structures and business processes are once again put to the test. The result is a "fit for purpose" organization with simplified structures and a focus on the three core business areas. Shortly before the turn of the year, the new CEO Conrad Keijzer is introduced, who takes office on January 1, 2021.
Focus on core 2019
high value Specialty
Due to unfavorable market conditions, Clariant and SABIC decide to suspend negotiations regarding the intended formation of a new Business Area, High Performance Materials. After only nine months Ernesto Occhiello resigns as CEO and Hariolf Kottmann takes over his responsibilities as Executive Chairman ad interim. As part of the announced portfolio upgrade, Clariant sells its Healthcare Packaging business and continues with the divestment of the Pigments and Masterbatches businesses. These divestments are expected to conclude by end 2020.
Strategic anchor 2018
Anchor shareholder
Saudi Basics Industries Corporation (SABIC) acquires 24.99 percent stake in Clariant from an activist investor and becomes the largest anchor shareholder. Both companies enter a governance agreement defining the long-term strate-gic relationship and sign a Memorandum of Understand- ing on a significant collaboration opportunity in the area of high-performance materials. The chemist Ernesto Occhiello from SABIC becomes CEO of Clariant. At the same time, the company breaks ground in Craiova Romania on the first large-scale bioethanol production plant. At full capacity, the facility will process about 250,000 tons of cereal straw into 50,000 tons of cellulosic ethanol per year.
Merger or no 2017
"This is the perfect deal at the right time," says CEO Hariolf Kottmann about the plan to merge with US chemical company Huntsman. But expectations are disappointed: At the end of the year, the deal falls through due to the opposition of an activist investor who acquired a quarter of Clariant shares to stop the deal. Nevertheless, Clariant also celebrates a business success: The global Competence Center Hair Care opens in Brazil and paves the way for Clariant as a key supplier for hair care cosmetics manufacturers worldwide.
Aquisitions of Kel-Tech Inc. and X-Chem LL for oil and mining services.
Sharpen the 2015
Clariant invests in further specialization. The new Biotech Center with over 6,000 square meters of ultra-modern lab facilities begins operations in Planegg, near Munich. More than 100 specialists from various scientific and technical fields are employed there. Additionally, Clariant acquires the entire share capital of Companhia Brasileira de Bentonita and de-icing business of Aerochem (Sweden).
Clariant becomes member of Together for Sustainability (TfS).
The Clariant Innovation Center (CIC) is opened in Höchst, while Leather Services and Detergent & Intermediates are sold.
Appreciating 2012
With the closing of the formative Süd-Chemie acquisition, Clariant changes its image. The new corporate identity is based on brand values with ‘appreciation’ as the brand core. Especially appreciating innovation and sustainability, Clariant invests around 100 million euros into the Clariant Innovation Center Frankfurt-Höchst and opens a pilot plant in Straubing that produces bioethanol from agricultural residues. As part of its active portfolio management, Clariant sells the Textile Chemicals, Paper Specialties and Emulsions Business Units.
Year of 2011
Octagon Process LLC, USA. Prairie Petro-Chem, Canada. Oberhausen Technology Center, Germany. However, the largest and most important strategic acquisition is Munich-based Süd-Chemie. Founded in 1941, the company employs around 6,500 people and has annual sales of over one billion euros. It introduces the Functional Minerals and Catalysts Business Units to Clariant.
The Executive Committee is downsized from seven to four members.
Internal 2009
Against the backdrop of the global economic and financial crisis, a phase of internal restructuring begins for Clariant. The four divisions are separated into eleven Business Units. The Executive Committee gradually introduces Clariant Excellence, which is a set of continuous and sustainable met-hods for efficient corporate development. While small and unprofitable locations are closed, the headquarters move to the now iconic Clariant tower in Pratteln, which stands as a symbol of the internal turnaround.
Managing 2008
the crisis
Decisive changes for Clariant also mark the year of the fi-nancial crisis. CEO Jan Secher, who has been in the role for two years, leaves the company in August. His successor is chemist Hariolf Kottmann, who marks a turning point in the company’s history. Continuity and constant efficiency characterize the EC from now on. In March, he was already elected member of the Board of Directors. In business terms, 2008 is a year of consolidation. The sale of Dutch Dick Peters is offset by the acquisition of Rite System and Ricon Colors.
Clariant invests in Colombian chemical industries.
Clariant acquires Ciba Masterbatches. Jan Secher becomes new CEO and Roland Lösser becomes president and successor of Robert Raeber.
Clariant sold CABB (Clariant Acetyl Building Blocks Gmbh & Co. KG).
Clariant Performance Improvement Program (CPIP) proves to be successful.
Restoring trust 2003
Because of the high debt burden caused by the British Tar Products (BTP) purchase, financial competence is in demand at the top management level. Former CFO, Roland Lösser takes over the CEO role. He starts managing objectives like consolidating the balance sheet, increasing efficiency and reducing costs. In November, Clariant sells the operations of Cellulose Ethers pertaining to the Functional Chemicals Division to the Shin-Etsu Group.
Pressing 2002
This year sees a change in leadership of the Board of Directors: Robert Raeber replaces the founding chairman Rolf W. Schweizer after more than seven years. Raeber is a member of upper management in the Swiss Nestlé group, which produces food products. As a result of the mistaken purchase of British Tar Products (BTP), Clariant divests other portions of its business operations. The Emulsions, Textile Leather, Paper and Functional Chemicals Business Units are affected.
Clariant sells its PVA/PVB business to Kuraray. Reinhard Handte becomes the new CEO.
A momentous 2000
In early 2000, Clariant acquires the specialty chemicals company British Tar Products (BTP) on much too costly terms. This unfortunate move has a significant impact on Clariant's balance sheet for several years. The immediate consequences of this are sales of high-profit business areas such as cellulose ethers, Mowilith/Mowital and AZ Electronic Materials.
Hoechst AG sells its 45% stake in Clariant.
"Exactly Your 1998
The new slogan "Exactly Your Chemistry" reflects the specializing of the portfolio. Clariant sells its superabsorbents business operations. In exchange, the company buys Christianson S.A. (Mexico), Sang Ho Mercantile (Korea) and Song Won Colour (Korea). Moreover, the previously announced merger with competitor Ciba falls through at the end of the year. Chairman Rolf W. Schweizer takes on the responsibility of the CEO.
With the acquisition of Specialty Chemicals of Hoechst AG, Clariant quadruples their number of employees, pushes sales to almost ten billion Swiss francs and enhances their global footprint. Karl-Gerhard Seifert becomes CEO.
Clariant acquires
Zipperling Kessler & Co.
The shape of 1995
things to come
January 1995. Martin Syz, head of Sandoz AG's chemicals division, is told: "We want to sell you." Syz is asked to develop a business plan for an independent specialty chemicals company. This move is the beginning of Clariant, which will become independent with 8,700 employees and annual sales of 2.3 billion Swiss francs. In addition to Martin Syz as CEO, Rolf W. Schweizer, as Chairman of the Board of Directors, is the key figure in this founding phase.

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