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History

How did we get where we are today?

History
 

AkzoNobel has a long and distinguished history. Since our inception in 1646 we’ve constantly delivered technical and product innovation. For example, in the 19th century we pioneered industrial-scale chemical manufacture. More recently we’ve led the way with high-tech coatings and artificial fibers.

Here are some more of the highlights over the years:

1646
Bofors forge is founded in Sweden.
1777
Det Holmbladske Selskab, now Sadolin, is founded in Denmark.

1792
Painter and decorator Wiert Willem Sikkens starts making Sikkens lacquers in the Dutch town of Groningen.

1871
KemaNobel is established in Sweden. More than a hundred years later, in 1984, KemaNobel will merge with Bofors to form Nobel Industries, which will in turn be acquired by Akzo in 1994.

1895
Alfred Nobel (the man behind the Nobel Prize) founds Elektrokemiska Aktiebolaget – known as Eka – in Bengtsfors, Sweden. Today Eka Chemicals is part of AkzoNobel's Pulp and Performance Chemicals business.

1918
Koninklijke Nederlandse Zoutindustrie (KZO) kick-starts the Dutch salt industry in response to salt shortages during World War I.

1923
Saal van Zwanenberg establishes Organon to produce insulin from the pancreases of animals.

1968
UK man-made fiber company Courtaulds acquires International Paints.

1969
Algemeene Kunstzijde Unie NV (AKU) merges with Koninklijke Zwanenberg Organon (KZO) to form AKZO.

1994
Akzo and Nobel Industries merge to form AkzoNobel.

1998
AkzoNobel acquires UK company Courtaulds. Their products include high-tech industrial coatings and man-made fibers such as Courtelle and Tencel.

2007
AkzoNobel sells Organon BioSciences NV to Schering-Plough Corporation.

2008
AkzoNobel acquires Imperial Chemical Industries PLC (ICI). Please find all reports relating to the former ICI on this location.