Major chemical companies turn to new specialties for growth

Nov 13, 2013

Triggered by the recession that began in 2008, major chemical companies are aggressively re-inventing themselves through multi-billion dollar overhauls, reports Chemical & Engineering News, the weekly newsmagazine of the American Chemical Society. Rather than growing through the expansion of existing operations into emerging economies, which continue to suffer from the downturn, large chemical firms are now shedding some of those operations and investing in specialty areas with higher growth.

Marc S. Reisch, senior correspondent at C&EN, explains that in the past five years, three of the world's giants—DuPont, Dow and Clariant—and others have acquired specialty companies positioned in areas where they see market potential. The three companies are currently reorganizing by selling older chunks of their businesses.

The article points out that this buy-sell strategy doesn't always work, but so far, the approach is promising.

DuPont's 2011 purchase of industrial enzyme maker Danisco has been "a game changer" as it sheds its performance chemicals businesses. Dow has forged its way into the advanced materials market in one fell swoop with the purchase of Rohm and Haas in 2009. And Clariant, through its acquisition of the German company Süd Chemie in 2011, has added to its portfolio specialty chemicals, such as catalysts and battery materials, meanwhile selling off less desirable assets, such as their textile chemicals unit.

Explore further: Companies close to reusing the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide

More information: "Greener Pastures" cen.acs.org/articles/91/i45/New-Ways-Grow.html

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Companies close to reusing the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide

Nov 06, 2013

Reusing the major greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) from industrial plants—rather than releasing its warming potential into the environment—is on the verge of becoming a commercial reality. Several large chemical companies ...

Research boom on ingredients for 'enhanced cosmetics'

May 16, 2012

Growing demand among baby boomers and others for "enhanced cosmetics" that marry cosmetics and active ingredients to smooth wrinkled skin and otherwise improve appearance is fostering research on micro-capsules and other ...

Chemical company giants stall with global economy

Jul 31, 2013

The world's 50 largest chemical companies—with combined 2012 sales of almost $1 trillion and products that touch the lives of people everywhere—are the topic of the cover story in the current edition of Chemical & En ...

Predicting health risks of everyday chemicals

Oct 16, 2013

Concern over the safety of everyday household products, such as baby bottles and soaps, has spurred a wide-ranging research effort into predicting the health risks of tens of thousands of chemicals. That's the topic of the ...

'Sweet' chemicals from a 'green' raw material

Sep 19, 2012

The biobased world's traditional focus on producing fuels for cars, trucks and aircraft is quietly undergoing a major transition this summer toward production of chemicals needed for manufacture of hundreds of different consumer ...

Recommended for you

Building the ideal rest stop for protons

12 hours ago

Where protons, or positive charges, decide to rest makes the difference between proceeding towards ammonia (NH3) production or not, according to scientists at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) and ...

Cagey material acts as alcohol factory

13 hours ago

Some chemical conversions are harder than others. Refining natural gas into an easy-to-transport, easy-to-store liquid alcohol has so far been a logistic and economic challenge. But now, a new material, designed ...

User comments : 0