- Imperial Chemical Industries
company_name = Imperial Chemical Industries
foundation = 1926
Slough, England, UK
key_people = Peter Ellwood (Chairman)
John McAdam (CEO)
industry = Chemicals
products = Paints & speciality chemicals
revenue = £4,845 million
operating_income= £502 million
net_income = £295 million
num_employees = 29,130 (2006)
homepage = [http://www.ici.com www.ici.com]
Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI) is a British chemical subsidiary of a Dutch conglomerate and one of the largest chemical producers in the world. It is based in
Slough[http://www.ici.com/aboutus/CompanyOverview/Paints] , UK. It produces paints and speciality products (including ingredients for foods, specialty polymers, electronic materials, fragrances and flavours). It employs around 29,000 people and had a turnover of just over £4.8 billion in 2006. Since January 2008, ICI has been a subsidiaryof Dutch chemicals group Akzo Nobel,cite news
title=Akzo Nobel ICI merger completed
accessdate = 2008-01-05] which is in the process of fully integrating the two companies. [cite press release
title=Akzo Nobel to Focus on Fast and Effective Integration in 2008
7 January, 2008
publisher=Akzo Nobel U.K.
accessdate = 2008-02-13]
ICI was founded in December 1926 from the merger of four companies—
Brunner Mond, Nobel Explosives, the United Alkali Company, and British Dyestuffs Corporation.
DuPontand IG Farben(which was subsequently split up in 1952 into BASF, Agfa, Hoechst AG, Bayerand other companies), the new company produced explosives, fertilisers, insecticides, dyestuffs, industrial chemicals, printing materials, and paints. In its first year turnover was £27m.
Until 1937, the Sunbeam motorcycle business, which had come with Nobel Industries, was part of ICI.
ICI played a key role in the development of new products, including the dyestuff
phthalocyanine(1929), the acrylic plastic "Perspex" (1932), Dulux paints (1932, co-developed with DuPont), polyethylene(1937), Polyethylene terephthalatefibre known as Terylene(1941), sulfamethazine(the first sulfonamide antibiotic), paludrine (1940s, an anti- malarial drug), halothane(1951, an anaesthetic agent), Inderal (1965, a beta-blocker), brodifacoum(a rodenticide) in 1974, tamoxifen(1978, a frequently used drug for breast cancer), and PEEK(1979, a high performance thermoplastic). Because of their success in the pharmaceuticalindustry, ICI formed ICI Pharmaceuticalsin 1957. The company is now part of the AstraZenecagroup.
However, ICI made several mistakes in developing new materials, such as
Biopol, a bioengineeredplastic. Its properties were poor, and the cost of production very high, so the pilot planton Teessidewas closed in the early 1990's.
ICI operated a number of chemical sites around the world. In the UK the main plants were situated at
Billinghamand Wilton(on Teesside) and Runcorn(in Cheshire). The Runcornsite was responsible for the development of the HiGEE and Spinning Disc Reactor concepts which were developed by Prof Colin Ramshaw, which lead to the concept of Process Intensification. Research into these novel technologies is currently being pursued by the Process Intensification Group at Newcastle University
Unsuccessful Hanson takeover
In 1988, the company successfully fought off a hostile takeover bid from the
In 1993 the company decided to demerge its chemical business from the pharmaceutical bioscience divisions. Pharmaceuticals,
agrochemicals, specialities, seeds and biological products were placed into a new and independent company called Zeneca Group(which merged with Astra ABin 1999 to form AstraZenecaPLC, one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world). The company also moved away from bulk and industrial chemicals towards speciality chemicals during the 1990s in the hope of making its income less dependent on the business cycle, earning higher profit margins, and developing businesses with long term growth potential. However its financial performance so far in the 21st century has been erratic.
ICI sold its Australian subsidiary, ICI Australia, in 1997 and the following year the former subsidiary changed its name to
Akzo Nobel takeover
Akzo Nobel(owner of Crown Berger paints) bid £7.2 billion (€10.66 billion or $14.5 billion US) for ICI in June 2007. An area of concern about a potential deal was ICI's British pension fund, which had future liabilities of more than £9 billion at the time. [cite news
title=Dutch poised to clinch £8bn ICI takeover
accessdate = 2008-01-05] Regulatory issues in the UK and other markets where
Duluxand Crown Paints brands each have significant market share were also a cause for concern for the boards of ICI and Akzo Nobel. In the UK, any combined operation without divestments would have seen Akzo Nobel have a 54% market share in the paintmarket.cite news
title=ICI snubs second offer from Akzo
accessdate = 2007-07-30] The initial bid was rejected by the ICI board and the majority of shareholders. [cite news
title=ICI rejects £7.2bn bid approach
accessdate = 2008-01-05] However, a subsequent bid for £8 billion (€11.82 billion) was accepted by ICI in August 2007, pending approval by regulators.cite news
title=ICI agrees to be bought by Akzo
accessdate = 2007-08-13]
As of 8.00am on 2 January 2008 ICI PLC became a
subsidiaryof Akzo Nobel NV. Shareholders of ICI will receive either £6.70 in cash or Akzo Nobel loan notes to the value of £6.70 per 1 nominal ICI share. The adhesives business of ICI has been transferred to Henkelas a result of the deal, [cite news
title=Henkel to pay $5.5 bln for ICI units: Akzo
accessdate = 2008-01-05] while Akzo has agreed to sell its Crown Paints subsidiary to satisfy the concerns of the
European Commissioner for Competition.cite news
title=Akzo Nobel to sell Crown paints
accessdate = 2008-01-05]
The areas of concern regarding the ICI UK pension scheme have been addressed by ICI and Akzo. [ [http://www.icipensionfund.org.uk/ ICI Pension Fund Web Site.] ]
* [http://www.ici.com Official site]
* [http://www.dulux.co.uk Dulux]
* [http://www.nationalstarch.com National Starch and Chemical Company] ICI subsidiary.
* [http://uk.finance.yahoo.com/q/pr?s=ICI.L Yahoo! profile]
* [http://www.orica.com.au Orica]
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