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Arkema S.A.
TypeSociété Anonyme
CAC Next 20 Component
IndustryChemical industry
HeadquartersColombes, France
Key people
Thierry Le Hénaff (Chairman and CEO)
ProductsPolyamide 11, Elastomers, PVDF, PEKK, Acrylics, synthetic resins, PVC, polymers, hydrogen peroxide, vinyl compounds, pipes, PMMA, HCFCs and chlorine compounds
Revenue7.9 billion (2020)[1]
Number of employees
20,500 (end 2019)[1]
SubsidiariesBostik, ArrMaz, Coatex, MLPC International, Sartomer, Den Braven, Casda, Agiplast

Arkema S.A. is a specialty chemicals and advanced materials company headquartered in Colombes, near Paris, France.[2]

Created in 2004, when French oil major Total restructured its chemicals business, Arkema was introduced at the Paris stock exchange in May 2006. With a turnover of 7.9 billion €, Arkema has 20,500 employees in more than 55 countries, 13 research centers worldwide, and a total of 144 production plants in Europe, North America and Asia and the rest of the world.[3]

Arkema is organized into three business segments: Coating Solutions, Industrial Chemicals, and Performance Products.[4]


Arkema was created when French oil major Total restructured its chemicals business. The restructuring was a gradual process that began many years earlier:

1850: Creation of The Pennsylvania Salt Manufacturing Co. by five Philadelphia Quakers.[5]
1957: The Pennsylvania Salt Manufacturing Co. changed its name to Pennsalt Chemicals Corp.[5]
1969: Wallace and Tiernan Inc. merged into Pennsalt Chemicals Corp, forming Pennwalt Corp.[5]
1971: Creation of Aquitaine Total Organico (ATO), a joint Elf-Total subsidiary. Creation of Produits Chimiques Ugine Kuhlmann (PCUK).
1973: Creation of ATO Chimie.
1980: Creation of Chloé Chimie (40% Elf Aquitaine, 40% Total and 20% Rhône-Poulenc).
1983: Creation of Atochem - Chemical production in France is reorganized around Atochem, a wholly owned Elf Aquitaine subsidiary incorporating the activities of ATO Chimie, Chloé Chimie and most of PCUK.
1989: Atochem North America Inc. formed from the merger of Pennwalt Corp., M&T Chemicals, and Atochem Inc.[5]
1990: Chemical production is again reorganized in France: Orkem's petrochemicals, styrenics, fertilizers and acrylics businesses are integrated into Atochem, while specialties (resin and paint) move to Total. Acquisition of Montedison's organic peroxide business.
1992: Atochem becomes Elf Atochem.
2000: Creation of Atofina by merging TotalFina and Elf's chemical businesses following the two companies’ 1999 merger.
2004: Creation of Arkema on October 1.
2006: Arkema IPO on the Paris Bourse on May 18 [6]
2007: Arkema sells its agrochemical activities (CEREXAGRI)[7] and its formaldehyde activities [8]
2007: Arkema acquires Coatex company (specialty acrylic polymers)
2010: Arkema acquires acrylic Dow assets in the US [9]
2011: Arkema acquires Total coating resins (Cray Valley and Sartomer)[10]
2011 : in June, Arkema joined the CAC Next 20 French stock market index.[11]
2012: Arkema acquires Chinese Company Hipro Polymers (producer of bio-Polyamides) and Casda Biomaterials (producer of plant raw materials)[12]
2012 : in July, Arkema sold for 1 symbolic euro its vinyl products business segment to the Klesch group for reasons of profitability,[13] but also to recenter its operations exclusively on specialty chemicals. As part of this divestment, Arkema made a 100 million euro cash payment to the Klesch group and took on debts amounting to 470 million euros to help revive the activity. In response to fears of redundancy and to protests from employees at a number of production sites, the trade unions negotiated, with the Arkema management, industrial and social guarantees as well as support measures designed to protect the rights of employees should the Klesch group implement redundancies following their take-over of the vinyl products activities. Hence two trust funds of €20 M were set up to secure compensation payments and the rights of employees of the companies that were sold off.[14]
2012 : as part of its strategic refocusing on specialty chemicals, Arkema acquired a new visual identity as well as a new signature "Innovative Chemistry".[15]
2015 : in February the company finalized the purchase of Bostik from Total S.A..[16] The company also joined CJ Group of South Korea to invest in the manufacture of L-methionine in Malaysia.[17]
2017 : During Hurricane Harvey, some organic peroxides burned in the Arkema Crosby TX plant, causing a 1.5 mile evacuation zone around the site.[18]


Since Arkema sold its Vinyl product segment in July 2012, Arkema reorganized its activities into three business segments: High Performance Materials, Industrial Specialties and Coating Solutions. Each of these segments represent one third of Arkema's turnover.[19]

High Performance Materials[edit]

High Performance Materials segment gathers four high value added product lines: Specialty polyamides, Fluoropolymers (PVDF), molecular sieves for filtration and adsorption and organic peroxides.

Its flagship brands are Rilsan (polyamide 11), Luperox(Organic Peroxide), Kynar (PVDF), Siliporite (Molecular Sieves).[20]

Usine Arkema de Pierre Bénite

Industrial specialties[edit]

Industrial Specialties segment produces major chemical intermediates such as thiochemicals (for animal nutrition, gas natural odorant), fluorochemicals (for refrigeration, air conditioning, blowing agent for insulating foam), PMMA (or acrylic glass for furnitures, automotive applications, noise barriers), and hydrogen peroxide (pulp and textile bleaching, chemical synthesis, water treatment).[13]

The business segment's flagship brands include Altuglas[21] (PMMA), Albone[22] (hydrogen peroxide), DMDS[23] (agricultural fumigant) and Forane[24] (refrigerants).

Coating Solutions[edit]

Starting from upstream acrylic monomers, the Group has built a presence across every segment of the coating market. Its portfolio of coating materials and technologies includes waterborne, solventborne, powder coating resins and additives from Arkema Coating Resins, rheology additives for waterborne coatings from Coatex and photocure resins for optic fibers, graphic arts, electronics, etc. from Sartomer. Its flagship brands are Envia, Rheotec, Sarbio.[13]


Altuglas International[edit]


Altuglas International has eight production facilities — four in Europe, three in North America, and one in South Korea.[25] It manufactures and markets four product lines: acrylic resins, Altuglas BS acrylic beads, acrylic sheets.[26]


Coatex produces rheological additives for aqueous formulations. It has six production facilities, in France, the Netherlands, the United States (South Carolina), South Korea, China and Brazil.[27]

Den Braven[edit]

Den Braven, leader of sealants for insulation and construction in Europe.


Sartomer is the first global supplier of specialty acrylates and methacrylates monomers and oligomers for a broad range of markets : specialty coatings, printinginks, composites, flooring, electronics, adhesives and many other high-end applications.

MLPC International[edit]


MLPC International specializes in the chemistry of carbon sulfide, cyanogen chloride and amines.


Bostik is the world's third largest adhesives and sealants company, with brands such as Bostik, Blu-Tack, Prestik.


Casda, the world leader in sebacic acid from castor oil

Arkema worldwide[edit]


Arkema operates through industrial facilities in Europe, North America and Asia and marketing subsidiaries in around 40 countries.

Arkema has 144 production facilities worldwide, including 61 in Europe, 43 in North America, 40 in Asia and in the rest of the world.[28]

Arkema has 13 research centers worldwide: 7 in France (Lacq, Serquigny, Cerdato, Carling, Genay, Pierre-Benite and Verneuil), three in the United States (Cary, North Carolina, Wauwatosa, Wisconsin and King of Prussia, Pennsylvania) and two in China (Shanghai and Changshu).[29]

Distribution of turnover, activity and manpower by region
North and South America 31% of sales
38 plants
Europe 38% of sales
60 plants
Asia and the rest of the world 31% of sales
38 plants

Sales by region[edit]

Most of Arkema's sales are generated in Europe, which accounts for 40% of the total. North and South America represents 34% of sales. Arkema has had a strong presence in China for over 13 years. Asia alone now accounts for 31% of sales.[13][1]

Crosby, Texas[edit]

Arkema operates a plant in Crosby, Texas, which flooded during Hurricane Harvey in August 2017. Arkema said it was unable to prevent the possibility of an explosion at the plant, after refrigeration equipment that kept temperature sensitive organic peroxides cold failed due to flooding.[30][31] On August 31 explosions were reported to be coming from the plant,[32] but these explosions were perhaps just "small container ruptures".[33]

Research and development[edit]

Research and development spending totaled roughly 150 million euros, with half allocated to “green chemistry.” Arkema employs more than 1,200 researchers, whose work focuses on two main areas: ultra-high performance polymers and sustainable development solutions.

Arkema has made sustainable development a central focus of its R&D strategy, introducing a broad array of innovative materials to help customers reduce their energy use, increasing its use of renewable feedstock, developing nanostructured materials and devising the processes of the future.[34]

Financial performance[edit]

Arkema generates sales of €7.9 billion, broken down as follows:[35]

  • Advanced Materials, 32%.
  • Adhesive Solutions, 25,5%.
  • Coating Solutions, 24,5%.
  • Intermediates, 18%.

Arkema's net debt in 2020 is €1,9 billion.[36]

Shareholder structure[edit]

As of 31 December 2010, the major stockholders of Arkema (owning at least 5% of capital declared to AMF) were Greenlight Capital (5,5%), Dodge & Cox (5.2%), Groupe Bruxelles Lambert (10%).[37][failed verification]

Since January 1, 2012, the level of 5% reported to AMF was passed by:

  • FMR LLC (Fidelity Management & Research): declares having +5% of Arkema capital (August 23, 2012);[38]
  • Groupe Bruxelles Lambert: sold all its shares in the capital (March 14, 2012);[39]
  • Individual shareholders: 94.0% ;
  • Group employees : 5,5% ;


  1. ^ a b c "Arkema Resultat 2020". AFP. Retrieved 25 February 2021.
  2. ^ "Arkema confirms its 2016 ambition and presents its roadmap to 2020". 2012-09-18. Archived from the original on 2015-09-24. Retrieved 2013-01-20.
  3. ^ "Arkema : Résultats 2020". AFP (in French). Retrieved 2021-02-25.
  4. ^ "Organization". 2012-07-02. Archived from the original on 2012-11-02. Retrieved 2013-01-20.
  5. ^ a b c d "CP50: Arkema Inc., Company Information". Chemical Processing. Putman Media. Retrieved 4 September 2017.
  6. ^ "Arkema History". Archived from the original on 2013-01-19.
  7. ^ "". Arkema.
  8. ^ "Arkema sells its Urea Formaldehyde Resins business to Hexion". 2007-05-30.
  9. ^ "Dow Finalizes Sale to Arkema of Acrylic Acid, Esters and Specialty Latex Assets in North America". 2010-01-27.
  10. ^ "Arkema Completes Acquisition of TOTAL's Coatings Resins and Photocure Resins". 2011-09-01.
  11. ^ "2011 annual and sustainable development report" (PDF). Arkema. 2011.
  12. ^ "France's Arkema aims €10bn sales, about 17% EBITDA margin in 2020". Missing or empty |url= (help)
  13. ^ a b c d Stringer, Leigh (23 November 2011). "France's Arkema to sell vinyl segment to Klesch Group". ICIS News. Reed Business Information. Archived from the original on 25 November 2011.
  14. ^ "Arkema confirms vinyl unit sale to Klesch Group". 2011-11-23.
  15. ^ "Arkema acquires a new visual identity" (PDF). 2012-09-18.[permanent dead link]
  16. ^ "Arkema finalises acquisition of adhesive maker Bostik". Business Standard Ltd. 2015-02-04. Retrieved 2015-03-02.
  17. ^ Kim, Marie (June 2015). "CJ CheilJedang Actively Ventures Abroad to New Markets". BusinessKorea. Vol. 32 no. 362. Seoul, Korea. p. 17 – via Internet Archive.
  18. ^ "Explosions and Smoke Reported At Arkema Inc. Crosby Plant". Arkema. 2017-08-31.
  19. ^ "Arkema outlines future growth plans, splits operations into three businesses". 2012-09-20. Retrieved 2013-01-20.
  20. ^ "France's Arkema enters new development phase". Archived from the original on 2013-01-26. Retrieved 2013-01-20.
  21. ^ "Altuglas International". Retrieved 2013-01-20.
  22. ^ "Homepage, Hydrogen Peroxide, Sodium Chlorate, H2O2". Brighten Your Future. Retrieved 2013-01-20.
  23. ^ "DMDS for agricultural soil fumigation". Arkema. Retrieved 2013-09-06.
  24. ^ "Forane® Refrigerant - Fluorochemicals". Arkema. Archived from the original on 2012-12-28. Retrieved 2013-01-20.
  25. ^ "Industrial Facilities". Retrieved 18 June 2015.
  26. ^ "Global Home Page". Retrieved 2013-01-20.
  27. ^ "Rheology, Coating Color, Dispersing agent". Coatex. Archived from the original on 2013-01-19. Retrieved 2013-01-20.
  28. ^ Arkema. "Présentation d'Arkema –". (in French). Retrieved 2020-11-09.
  29. ^ "Our Company - Overview". Arkema. Archived from the original on 2013-01-19. Retrieved 2013-01-20.[self-published source]
  30. ^ Molinski, Dan (August 30, 2017). "Arkema Reports Explosion, Smoke at Texas Plant". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved August 30, 2017.
  31. ^ "Arkema: No way to prevent explosion at flooded Texas chemical plant". CNBC. August 30, 2017. Retrieved August 30, 2017.
  32. ^ "Explosions reported at flooded chemical plant in Texas after Hurricane Harvey". The Daily Telegraph. August 31, 2017.
  33. ^ Horton, Alex; Wang, Amy B.; Bever, Lindsey (31 August 2017). "Explosions possible after 'pops' heard at storm-crippled Texas chemical plant, officials say". The Washington Post.
  34. ^ "Innovation - An organization in which the innovation is the byword". Archived from the original on 2013-01-19. Retrieved 2013-01-20.[self-published source]
  35. ^ "Arkema : Résultats 2020". AFP (in French). Retrieved 2021-02-25.
  36. ^ "Arkema : Résultats 2020". AFP (in French). Retrieved 2021-02-25.
  37. ^ "Publications". Archived from the original on 2013-01-19. Retrieved 2013-01-20.
  38. ^ "ARKEMA: FMR LLC OWNS 5.03% OF THE VOTING RIGHTS, AMF SAYS (FR)" (Press release). Arkema. 17 September 2012. Archived from the original on 15 February 2013. Retrieved 22 January 2013 – via Bloomberg.
  39. ^ Lewis, Barbara (13 March 2012). "Belgium's GBL sells 10 percent stake in Arkema". Reuters. Retrieved 23 Dec 2019.

External links[edit]