Imperial Chemical Industries

Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI ) was a British chemical company with headquarters in London. Recently introduced ICI paints and specialty chemical products (including food ingredients, special polymers, electronic materials, fragrances and flavors ) ago. ICI employed approximately 32,000 people and generated 2005 sales of about 5.8 billion pounds.

2007 ICI was acquired by Akzo Nobel for 8.05 billion pounds ( approximately twelve billion euros ) and smash, so already were shortly thereafter parts that were available for about 25 % of sales, sold to Henkel.

During a long time in the 20th century ICI was generally regarded as a leading company in the UK. The term "the chairman of ICI " was colloquially considered a leading figure in the British business world. Nevertheless, the unique status of ICI fell steadily during the last decades and its unique prestige is gone today. Last ICI was only a mid-sized companies in the global chemical industry, which is an old-fashioned industry with low return and low growth prospects. It was one of the smaller components of the British stock market index FTSE 100, far less than its former subsidiary AstraZeneca. In Germany, ICI was the daughters ICI Paints and Ilford a term; latter belonged until 1989 to the British chemical giant.

ICI had some famous brands (which are now part of Akzo Nobel):

  • Dulux for wall paints and painting tools
  • Xyladecor and Consolan for wood preservatives
  • Hammerite paint for metal protection
  • Molto for putties, adhesives and special cleaning agents and solvents


ICI was founded in December 1926 as a merger of four companies, the Brunner- moon, Nobel Explosives, the United Alkali Company and the British Dyestuffs Corporation. Competing with the American DuPont and the German IG Colors (which were later broken up again in Hoechst, BASF and Bayer AG) produced the new company explosives, fertilizers, insecticides, dyes, industrial chemicals, printing materials and coatings. Its turnover was already in his first year, 27 million pounds.

ICI played a key role in the development of new products including the dye phthalocyanine (1929 ), the acrylic plastic polymethyl methacrylate (1932 ), developed together with DuPont Dulux Colours (1932 ), polyethylene (1937 ), the first sulfonamide antibiotic sulfamethazine, the anti- malaria drug Paludrine (1940 ), the synthetic fiber fabric terylene (1941, which was marketed in Germany under the name diols of the Glanzstoff works ), the phosphoric acid ester VX (1950), the inhalation anesthetic halothane (1951 ), the beta - blocker Inderal (1965 ), the often drug used in breast cancer tamoxifen ( 1978) and the high-quality thermoplastic polyether ketones (1979).

One of his most important production sites was located in Billingham in North East England County Durham. Between 1971 and 1988, ICI where he ran a small research nuclear reactor of type TRIGA Mark I, which was built by General Atomics.

Because of his great success as a pharmaceutical company founded in 1957 ICI Pharmaceuticals. 1971 took over ICI, the U.S. company Atlas Chemical Industries, which was renamed later ICI America Inc.. In 1987, ICI took over the company SES and thus increased in the cultivation of sugar beet seed. In the late 1980s became the UK's leading chemical company in a crisis and conducted mass layoffs. Also from the UK for more than a century usual salary-related occupational pension scheme rose from ICI, after a shortfall of £ 450 million was apparently a result of new accounting standards.

1993, the management decided to outsource the business sector Pharmaceutical Bioscience in the chemical business. Pharmaceutical, agrochemical, specialty chemicals and biology products were introduced into a newly formed company called Zeneca Group, which became independent under the CIO David Barnes and 1999 with the Swedish company Astra AB Astra Zeneca merged, one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world. The chemical company ICI also adopted in the 1990s by the great bulk of industrial chemicals to specialty chemicals in the hope that his business would thus less cyclical and a lucrative and long term greater growth opportunities possessed. However, its financial performance is erratic until today, his performance volatile.

1997 ICI sold its Australian subsidiary ICI Australia, which operates under Orica since 1998. 2002 ICI sold its 30 percent stake in the Huntsman Corporation. 2003, there were reports, ICI plan to sell its American adhesives and starch producers at National Starch, Henkel, who contributed with 9,700 employees and a turnover of 2.8 billion euros for 30 percent of total sales of the Group ICI. Instead, then the business with tile adhesive and grout Cimsec 2006 was sold to Henkel, which used ICI similar to previous sales to repay debt.

Was notified on 13 August 2007, ICI by Akzo Nobel will take over for around € 12 billion. At the same time the divisions Adhesives ( glues) and Electronic Materials for € 4 billion were sold to Henkel.

In 2008, Henkel acquired from Akzo Nobel the Adhesives and Electronic Materials businesses (National Starch) by ICI for around 3.7 billion euros.