Lankro Chemicals Limited - 1937
The origins of Akcros Chemicals can be traced back to Eccles, UK in 1937 when the Speciality Chemicals company Lankro Chemicals was established. Lankro was named after its founder, Dr. F H Kroch and the county of Lancashire in which the plant was located. During the 1940’s Lankro began the expansion of its portfolio by producing plasticisers and anionic surfactants.
Lankro Chemicals Group Limited - April 1970
Lankro builds up sales in the leather industry and acquires a small company with useful technology called Arkwright Chemicals Ltd. Littleborough, UK. 1st March 1971 – Lankro acquires Burts & Harvey in Kent, UK. Burts & Harvey had factories in Belvedere, Kent and at Totton near Southampton making phthalic anhydride and alkyl phenols as well as phthalates and other plasticizers for PVC. The controlling company was Lankro Chemicals Group Ltd. The name of Lankro Chemicals Ltd was used for the operating company. November 1972 – Imperial Chemicals Industries Ltd (60%) and Lankro Chemicals Group Ltd (40%) formed a joint company called ICI Lankro Plasticisers Ltd. The company was set up to help meet the pressures of international trading in phthalates, particularly in the context of UK entry in to the Common Market. 1973 – Dr Kroch founder of Lankro was awarded the CBE.
1974 - Lankro Italiana SpA was established. This was a joint venture with Sayer Lackis set up to service the Italian Urethanes market. 1976 – A new corporate identity is launched February 1976 – Lankro acquires Fallek Lankro Corporation, building an Agricultural Weed killer Plant in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. 4 June 1976 - Lankro Group purchases Kirk Chemicals Limited, in Coatbridge, Scotland. Kirk manufactures and sells a range of cleaning formulations for the industrial/institutional hygiene markets. Products include floor cleaning jellies, liquid detergents, disinfectants, hand cleaners and degreasers. Roots were established with an initiative in Germany and the States. June 1977 - Lankro Chemicals Deutschland is formed. This is a joint venture with Giessharzwerk GmbH with offices at Frechen near Cologne. The company supplied the polyurethane market in Europe. After 40 years Lankro passes from being an independent public company.
Diamond Shamrock Limited - October 1977
Lankro, together with existing Diamond Shamrock companies in Europe forms a new group “Diamond Shamrock Europe”. Shamrock oil was founded in 1929 and traded until 1967 when it merged with Diamond Alkali and formed the company Diamond Shamrock. Diamond Shamrock Europe had branches in Belgium at Wauthier-Braine, in France at Dia-Prosim S.A. and in the UK in Leeds called Diamond Shamrock Chemicals (UK) Ltd. These companies were not fully owned by Diamond Shamrock but sites in Drammen, Norway, Corano, Milan Italy, Eytesa, Tarrasa Barcelona, Denmark were. 1979 - Lankro to split with ICI joint venture, ICI continues with a toll conversion contract for the next 5 years.
The site in Totton was sold to British Steel. Greater emphasis was put on the production of speciality products and new developments. 1980 – S.A.Argus Chemicals NV at Drogenbos Belgium was acquired and a new identity Diamond Shamrock Polymer Additives established. The Phosclere range of phosphate antioxidant stabilisers was obtained from Akzo with another acquisition being the purchase of Mellite range of organotin stabilisers for PVC from Albright and Wilson. Additionally 1980 saw the opening of a new plant in India called Diamond Shamrock Ion Exchange Plant at Ratnagiri. Arkwright Chemicals was sold. In Eccles a £1 million investment to construct a full scale acrylate esters plant was completed to enable the development of business into printing inks, varnishes and similar curable coatings.
Lankro Chemicals - 23 May 1986
Management buy-out. 7 directors purchase 75% of company with the remaining 25% ownership transferring to the employees. The package includes; Drogenbos, Eccles & Frankfurt production sites, the European sales companies plus the traditional rights to technologies in Polymer Additives, Radiation Cure, Surfactants and Urethanes.
Harcros Chemicals - 1988
Eccles Site was acquired by the Harrison & Crosfield Group who had just combined their 16 chemical companies to form Harcros Chemicals Group. They had Inorganic Chemicals and Pigments. Eccles became the Divisional H.Q. for the UK within the Organics division and joined locations in Roermond and Venlo in Holland, Burnley in the UK, Belleville NJ USA, St Laurent Nouan, France, Copenhagen, Denmark, Siegburg, Germany, Milan Italy, Singapore, Barcelona, Spain and Taipei in Taiwan. Harcros Chemicals produced a variety of Polymer Additives including solid lead stabilisers, metal soaps, stabiliser one-packs, liquid mixed metal stabilisers, pastes and organo phosphites. The Eccles Division was involved principally with the manufacture of speciality chemicals: polymer additives, radiation curing chemicals, surfactants and polyurethanes. At the Limox Site Lead Oxide was produced as a raw material to be used in the manufacture of lead based polymer additives, ceramics, crystal glass and pigment industries. Breyor Site dealt in metal soaps for use as additives in polymer processing, paint, paper, rubber, pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries. Tinstab SA in France supplied butyl and octyl thiotins and maleate tin stabilisers for use as additives in the plastics industry.
October 1991 – acquisition of the Greiz Site in Germany. The site located in Greiz Dolau was originally founded in the 19th Century as a textile and leather processing oil producer. At the time of acquisition it was a major manufacturer of thermoplastic polymer stabilisers and processing aids. The acquisition gives a big expansion to the Harcros polymer additives business plus it brings new business' in polysulphides which are used in the production of sealants for the building and aerospace industries. 1993 – New Technical Centre was completed at the Eccles site at a cost of £15m.
Akcros Chemicals - July 1st 1993
A 50vs50 Joint Venture between the Harcros Organics business and the Dutch chemical company Akzo Nobel is established. This makes Akcros the European Number 1 in PVC additives. Akzo bring with it two German production Sites in Dahlem & Dueren plus the US Plant in New Brunswick The new Akcros business operates out of 12 locations worldwide with production Sites in Durham, Burnley and Eccles in the UK; Roermond, Venlo, Deventer and Bergen-op-zoom in the Netherlands; Greiz-Dolau, Duren and Dahlem in Germany; St Laurent Nouan, France and New Brunswick in New Jersey USA.
Akzo Nobel 19th - October 1998
Akcros Chemicals, the former joint venture between Akzo Nobel nv and Elementis plc (formerly Harcros Chemicals) becomes a full-fledged business unit within Akzo Nobel's Chemicals Group with Akzo purchasing the outstanding 50% share of the Akcros from Elementis. 1999 - Akzo Nobel announces investments in a new Phosphite Ester plant in Eccles and in the production of metal stearates and Non-vinyl products in Roermond. Akcros Chemicals remains market leader in plastic additives, UV-EB curing chemicals and other performance chemicals. Among the main products are PVC stabilizers for rigid applications. 2001 – Akzo transfers the Surfactant Business from Akcros Chemicals to their Surface Chemistry Division based in Stenungsund, Sweden. 2002 - Akzo divests the Rigid PVC business to the MBO Allstab Chemicals GmbH and focuses Akcros on the manufacture of additives for flexible PVC and the production of UV-EB Curing Chemicals. 2005 – Akzo divests the UV-EB Curing Chemicals business to Cray Valley, of France, production of these additives ceases in Eccles and New Brunswick during 2006.
Akcros Chemicals - 15th March 2007
GIL Investments purchases Akcros Chemicals from Akzo Nobel Chemicals. The Akcros Chemical logo is re-launched. GIL is an investment company based in Stratford-upon-Avon near Birmingham in the UK that acquires and develops medium-size businesses in the manufacturing sector that offer interesting growth opportunities. GIL has a long-term view on developing these companies as on-going business. Production continues in the two core sites in the UK and USA owned by the new company, and also via tolling arrangements at the Akzo sites in Germany and Brazil.
Akcros Chemicals - August 2010
Production continues at the two core sites in the UK and USA. GIL supports investments in speciality Epoxies and Vulcabonds in the UK and expansion of the Tin Stabiliser production capabilities in the USA. In addition the company forms a join venture DAKSTAR in Singapore with Dalian Xingyaian Fine Chemicals to manufacture biocide active ingredients. The company enhance its reach into the Indian market with a licensing and distribution deal with ALA Chemicals.