|Public limited company|
|Traded as||LSE: CRDA|
FTSE 100 Component
|Headquarters||Snaith, East Riding of Yorkshire, UK|
|Anita Frew, Chairman |
Steve Foots, CEO
|Products||Speciality Chemicals for:|
Coatings and Polymers
|Revenue||£1,386.9 million (2018)|
|£342.5 million (2018)|
|£238.3 million (2018)|
Number of employees
The company was founded by George William Crowe and Henry James Dawe in 1925. 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).
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.
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.
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.
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. In 1953 Fred returned to the UK and was appointed Croda's managing director, aged just 27.
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.
In 1957, Croda Inc. acquired Hummel Chemical Company and began manufacturing in a new Newark, NJ plant.
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. It announced and offer to acquire Plant Impact, an agricultural bioscience business, for £10 million in February 2018.
The company's products include:
- Surfactants which are used as ingredients for cosmetic creams and lotions.
- Dietary supplements containing speciality lipids, such as omega-3 oils.
- Fatty acid amides which add "slip" to plastic surfaces, so plastic bags can be peeled apart easily.
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.
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- "Sir Frederick Wood". The Telegraph. 20 March 2003. Retrieved 20 September 2014.
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- "Personal finance - How to grow your wealth and spend less money". The Telegraph. Retrieved 26 March 2015.
- "Croda and Plant Impact agree £10 million deal". 16 February 2018. Retrieved 3 March 2018.