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£1,373.1 million (2017)[1]
£332.2 million (2017)[1]
£236.7 million (2017)[1]
Number of employees
4,289 (2016)[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 Crowe in 1925 at Rawcliffe Bridge to manufacture lanolin, a natural protective fat present in sheep's wool, which must be washed out before the wool can be woven, under the name Croda (a combination of the first few letters of his surname with that of his partner, a Mr Dawe).[3]

In 1927 Philip Wood became the first manager of the Croda lanolin factory. Philip swiftly refined Dawe's production process and, in the 1930s, he gradually developed a wider range of product applications for lanolin. When Philip died in 1949, aged 46, the board decided to run the business by committee, with Philip's son Sir Frederick Wood appointed sales director. In 1950 Fred relocated to New York to set up a new office with some success. In 1953 Fred returned to the UK and was appointed Croda's managing director, aged just 27.[4]

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.[3] It was first listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1964.[3] It expanded rapidly in the 1960s acquiring United Premier Oil in 1967, British Glues & Chemicals in 1968[3] and Midland-Yorkshire Tar Distillers in 1975.[5] In 1990 it developed Lorenzo's oil, a product famously used to treat adrenoleukodystrophy.[3] In 1998 it bought Westbrook Lanolin.[3]

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.[6] It announced and offer to acquire Plant Impact, an agricultural bioscience business, for £10 million in February 2018.[7]


The company's products include:

The HQ of Croda International in the late 17th-century Cowick Hall, lying midway between West and East Cowick in the East Riding of Yorkshire

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 2017" (PDF). Croda International. Retrieved 3 March 2018.
  2. ^ "Annual Report 2016" (PDF). Croda International. Retrieved 7 April 2017.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Croda International Plc. "Our History - Croda". Retrieved 27 September 2016.
  4. ^ "Sir Frederick Wood". The Telegraph. 20 March 2003. Retrieved 20 September 2014.
  5. ^ "Black Country History". Retrieved 16 June 2017.
  6. ^ "Personal finance - How to grow your wealth and spend less money". The Telegraph. Retrieved 26 March 2015.
  7. ^ "Croda and Plant Impact agree £10 million deal". 16 February 2018. Retrieved 3 March 2018.

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