Croda International

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Croda International plc
Public limited company
Traded asLSECRDA
FTSE 100 Component
HeadquartersSnaith, East Riding of Yorkshire, UK
Key people
Anita Frew, Chairman
Steve Foots, CEO
ProductsSpeciality Chemicals for:
Personal Care
Health Care
Crop Care
Lubricant Additives
Coatings and Polymers
Geo Technologies
Polymer Additives
Home Care
Industrial Chemicals
Revenue£1,386.9 million (2018)[1]
£342.5 million (2018)[1]
£238.3 million (2018)[1]
Number of employees
4,309 (2019)[2]

Croda International plc is a British speciality chemicals company based at Snaith in the East Riding of Yorkshire. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange.


The company was founded by George William Crowe and Henry James Dawe in 1925.[3] Crowe bought an abandoned waterworks facility at Rawcliffe Bridge for £7, which would later be used to manufacture the company's first barrels of lanolin, a natural protective fat present in sheep's wool. The company was named Croda (a combination of the first few letters of his surname with that of his partner, Dawe).[4][3]

Crowe and Dawe began working on a process to extract lanolin from sheep’s wool for various industries, including uses in cosmetics, as a waterproofing agent, and as a dressing for leather. At the time, the UK imported lanolin, having no domestic lanolin production at all.[5]

Dawe's extraction process failed initially and Dawe left the company. Philip Wood, Crowe's nephew, was appointed manager of the site in 1925, and Wood worked closely with a Belgium chemist to develop a new extraction process. By the end of the year Croda had successfully produced its first batch of lanolin.[5]

The company struggled to remain profitable to the end of the century until a report from the National Physical Laboratory was published describing the rust prevention properties of lanolin, creating new business opportunities for the company. The lanolin market was still in its infancy as the World Depression began to take hold in Britain, but Croda was able to expand their domestic market and exports through the 1930s as Wood refined Dawe's production process and gradually developed a wider range of product applications for lanolin.[5]

To aide in military production during World War II, Croda began producing camouflage paints, gun lubrication and cleaning oils, insect repellents, and other resources the British Empire required.[6]

When Wood died in 1949, aged 46, the board decided to run the business by committee, with Wood's son Frederick Wood appointed sales director. In 1950 Fred relocated to New York to set up the company's U.S. subsidiary, Croda Inc.[5] In 1953 Fred returned to the UK and was appointed Croda's managing director, aged just 27.[7]

Under Fred Wood's management Croda experienced a sustained period of rapid growth. Leading cosmetics companies started using its products in the 1950s and at that time it also began to expand internationally: it moved to its present location in 1955.[4]

In 1957, Croda Inc. acquired Hummel Chemical Company and began manufacturing in a new Newark, NJ plant.[8]

It was first listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1964.[4] It expanded rapidly in the 1960s acquiring United Premier Oil in 1967 and British Glues & Chemicals in 1968.[8]

In 1970, Croda acquired L&H Holdings and A B Fleming for ink and synthetic resin production[8] and acquired Midland-Yorkshire Tar Distillers in 1975.[9]

In 1990 it developed Lorenzo's oil, a product famously used to treat adrenoleukodystrophy.[4] In 1998 it bought Westbrook Lanolin.[4]

More recently it has concentrated on speciality chemicals and in 2006 it announced that it had reached a deal with ICI to acquire ICI's Uniqema for a total consideration of £410 million.[10] It announced and offer to acquire Plant Impact, an agricultural bioscience business, for £10 million in February 2018.[11]


The company's products include:

These products are sold to other manufacturing companies. Croda has factories in the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, the United States, Brazil, Singapore, India, Indonesia, Korea, and Japan.


  1. ^ a b c "Preliminary Results 2018" (PDF). Croda International. Retrieved 3 March 2019.
  2. ^ "Croda International". City Wire. Retrieved 3 March 2019.
  3. ^ a b Alan Nicholl (31 July 2015). "WSJCustomStudios_MeetingModernBizChallenges_2-17-15". Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  4. ^ a b c d e Croda International Plc. "Our History - Croda". Retrieved 27 September 2016.
  5. ^ a b c d "History of Croda International Plc – FundingUniverse". Retrieved 23 April 2019.
  6. ^ "Our History". Retrieved 1 July 2019.
  7. ^ "Sir Frederick Wood". The Telegraph. 20 March 2003. Retrieved 20 September 2014.
  8. ^ a b c "Our Timeline". Retrieved 2 July 2019.
  9. ^ "Black Country History". Retrieved 16 June 2017.
  10. ^ "Personal finance - How to grow your wealth and spend less money". The Telegraph. Retrieved 26 March 2015.
  11. ^ "Croda and Plant Impact agree £10 million deal". 16 February 2018. Retrieved 3 March 2018.

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