DSM (company)

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Royal DSM
Naamloze vennootschap
Traded as
Industry Chemicals
Founded 1902
Headquarters Heerlen, Netherlands
Key people
Feike Sijbesma (CEO), Geraldine Matchett (CFO), Rob J. Routs (Chairman of the Supervisory Board)
Products Nutritional and pharmaceutical ingredients, performance materials, chemicals for polymer manufacture
Revenue 9.181 billion (2014)[1]
€619 million (2014)[1]
Profit €145 million (2014)[1]
Total assets €12.126 billion (end 2014)[1]
Total equity €5.723 billion (end 2014)[1]
Number of employees
21,351 (end 2014)[1]
Website www.dsm.com dsm.com
DSM Headquarters, Heerlen, the Netherlands 2011

DSM[2] (in full Koninklijke DSM N.V., or Royal DSM[3]) is a Dutch-based multinational life sciences and materials sciences company. DSM's global end markets include food and dietary supplements,[4] personal care, feed,[5] medical devices,[6] automotive,[7] paints,[8] electrical and electronics, life protection, alternative energy and bio-based materials.[9] DSM and its associated companies deliver annual net sales of about €10 billion[1] with approximately 25,000 employees. The company is headquartered in the Netherlands, with locations on five continents. The company is listed on Euronext Amsterdam.


DSM was established in 1902 as a state-owned coal mining company. Through the years the company diversified into fertilizers and other chemicals. After 1965, when the Dutch government took the decision to phase out all mining operations in the Netherlands, this diversification was accelerated. By the time the last mine closed (in 1973), DSM had transformed into a chemical company. Since the 1990s DSM has transformed itself again, selling almost all of its commodity chemicals activities and becoming a Life Sciences & Materials Sciences company.[10][11] This second transformation is the subject of the book by Hein Schreuder and Jean-Pierre Jeannet, titled "From Coal to Biotech: the transformation of DSM with business school support". [12]

In 1989 the Dutch State floated 70% of its DSM shares on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange (now NYSE Euronext). The remaining 30% was floated in 1996, completing DSM’s privatization. In 1998 the company took over the Dutch food products and biotechnology group Gist-brocades. In 2000 it acquired the US company Catalytica Pharmaceuticals. In 2002 DSM sold its petrochemical division (naphtha crackers and polyolefin plants) to SABIC of Saudi Arabia. In 2003, DSM acquired the nutritional products business (including vitamins) of Roche. In 2005 NeoResins, the coating resins business of Avecia was purchased. In 2010 the Agro and Melamine business groups were sold to Orascom Construction Industries. In February 2011 DSM finalized its acquisition of US based Martek Biosciences Corporation. This acquisition was worth €700 million.[13] In August 2011 DSM transferred its anti-infectives business to a 50/50 global joint venture with Sinochem Group, named DSM Sinochem Pharmaceuticals.[14]

In June 2012 DSM acquired Kensey Nash, a US-based biomedical company primarily focused on regenerative medicine, and the following month it acquired Ocean Nutrition Canada,[15] the leading global provider of fish-oil derived nutritional products to the dietary supplement and food and beverage markets. In December 2012 DSM announced that it had acquired Cargill’s[16] cultures and enzymes business, producing enzymes, polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), vitamins, cultures, probiotics, bio actives, preservation systems and tests. In the same month, DSM acquired US-based Fortitech. Fortitech[17] provides customized food ingredient blends for the food & beverage, infant nutrition and dietary supplements industries from six production sites located worldwide. In April 2013 DSM acquired Tortuga Companhia Zootécnica Agrária (Tortuga),[18] a Brazilian company manufacturing nutritional supplements for pasture raised beef and dairy cattle.

In March 2014 DSM and JLL Partners announced that DPx Holdings B.V. (DPx Holdings) was operational.[19] DPx Holdings, formed by combining DSM Pharmaceutical Products and Patheon Inc., is a provider of (CDMO) services, pharmaceutical products and select chemical products for other industries. DPx Holdings is 51% owned by JLL and 49% by Royal DSM. As a result, the former Pharma cluster (DSM Pharmaceutical Products and DSM Sinochem Pharmaceuticals) is excluded from DSM’s core EBITDA and the company reports on its investments in joint ventures as an associated account in accordance with the equity method rather than as ongoing business.

On March 2015 DSM and CVC Capital Partners announced a partnership for DSM’s activities in Polymer Intermediates (caprolactam and acrylonitrile) and Composite Resins through the formation of a new company that will be 65% owned by CVC Capital Partners and 35% by DSM.[20] Closing, subject to conditions and approvals, is expected in Q3 2015.


The name DSM is the initialism of the company's original Dutch name, De Staatsmijnen (Dutch State Mines). In the 20th century the state owned company operated four coal mines in the Netherlands: Staatsmijn Wilhelmina, Staatsmijn Emma, Staatsmijn Hendrik and Staatsmijn Maurits.[21] In 1973, after the last mine was closed, the company decided to continue using the initials as its name.[22]


DSM's activities are currently grouped into three clusters: nutrition, performance materials and polymer intermediates.[23]

In life sciences the company is active in nutrition. The nutrition cluster comprises DSM Nutritional Products and DSM Food Specialties. These nutrition and food ingredients businesses serve the food, feed, cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries. The Nutrition cluster has customized formulation activities in more than 40 locations and a marketing/sales presence reaching over 60 countries. Manufacturing technologies in the Nutrition cluster are largely based on biotechnology, fermentation, chemical process technology and particle engineering. In February 2011 DSM finalized its acquisition of US based Martek Biosciences Corporation for US$1,087 million. This acquisition added new growth platforms for natural, healthy Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids (PUFAs) and nutritional ingredients (Omega-3 DHA and Omega-6 ARA).

In materials sciences the company is active in Performance Materials and Polymer Intermediates

The performance materials cluster comprises DSM Engineering Plastics, DSM Dyneema and DSM Resins. Their products are used in a wide variety of end-use markets: the automotive industry, the aviation industry, the electrical and electronics industry, the sports and leisure industries, the paint and coatings industry and the construction industry.

The polymer intermediates cluster consists of DSM Fibre Intermediates which produces caprolactam and acrylonitrile, raw materials for synthetic fibers and engineering plastics.[24]

DSM’s former pharma cluster comprised the business group DSM Pharmaceutical Products and DSM's 50% joint venture interest in DSM Sinochem Pharmaceuticals, leader in beta-lactam anti-infectives.

Sustainability as business driver[edit]

Sustainability is one of DSM’s four business drivers, and some of its development activities focus on what it foresees as an eventual transition from a fossil-based economy to a biobased economy.

The company is in partnership with the American biofuel company POET to commercially demonstrate and license the manufacture of cellulosic ethanol (a biofuel) from corn crop residue through a biological process using enzymatic hydrolysis followed by fermentation[citation needed].

Similarly it is in partnership with Roquette Freres for the commercial-scale production of bio-based succinic acid, a chemical used in the food and beverage industry and as a precursor to some specialized polyesters, and currently produced using fossil feedstock[citation needed].

The company is developing bio-based technologies for the manufacture of pharmaceuticals, food and feed ingredients and ‘green’ materials[citation needed].

DSM also runs a Nutrition Improvement Program,[25] a business program operated in coordination with DSM’s humanitarian initiative Sight and Life and its partnership with the United Nations’ World Food Programme. For the developed world DSM’s focus is on reducing micronutrient and vitamin deficiency via food fortification and supplementation tailored to specific target groups[citation needed].

DSM is also a signatory to the Statement on fiduciary duty & climate change disclosure, a collective commitment by a group of companies and institutional investors to strengthen and align climate-related corporate reporting to the investment community through a common framework.


DSM Nutritional Products is the world's largest supplier of nutritional ingredients, such as vitamins, carotenoids and other fine chemicals to the feed, food, pharmaceutical and personal care industries.[26]

DSM Food Specialties is a manufacturer of food enzymes, cultures, yeast extracts and other specialty ingredients for the global food and beverage industries. DSM Food Specialties supplies advanced ingredients for the food industry, mainly manufactured with the aid of fermentation and enzyme technology, among other technologies. These ingredients are found in well-known food brands for the dairy, baking, fruit juice, beer, wine, savory and functional food segments.[27]

DSM Engineering Plastics manufactures polyamides, polyesters and extrudable adhesive resins. These materials are used mainly in technical components for the electrical and electronics, automotive, engineering and packaging industries.

DSM Dyneema is the inventor and manufacturer of Dyneema ultra-strong fiber. This fiber, based on ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene (UHMWPE), is used in many applications in various end-markets, such as life protection, shipping, fishing, offshore, sailing, medical and textiles.

DSM Resins manufactures products used in a wide variety of applications such as paints, wind turbines and automotive. End-markets include building and construction, transport and industry. DSM Resins is also the world's largest manufacturer of fiber optic coatings.

DSM Fibre Intermediates produces caprolactam and acrylonitrile, which are raw materials for synthetic fibers and engineering plastics.[24] Caprolactam is the raw material for polyamide 6, used in textiles, floor coverings, industrial yarns and engineering plastics. Acrylonitrile is a key ingredient for acrylic textile and carpet fibers and for materials (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, ABS and styrene-acrylonitrile, SAN) for automobile components, electronic devices, toys and sports equipment. Other products include ammonium sulfate (a fertilizer), diaminobutane, sodium cyanide, and cyclohexanone.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Annual Report 2014". DSM. Retrieved 18 March 2015. 
  2. ^ "Bloomberg Businessweek company profile". Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved 12 November 2012. 
  3. ^ "DSM website". DSM. Retrieved 10 November 2012. 
  4. ^ "DSM in Food, beverages & dietary supplements website". DSM. Retrieved 10 November 2012. 
  5. ^ "DSM in Animal nutrition & health website". DSM. Retrieved 10 November 2012. 
  6. ^ "DSM in Medical website". DSM. Retrieved 10 November 2012. 
  7. ^ "DSM in Automotive / transportation website". DSM. Retrieved 10 November 2012. 
  8. ^ "DSM in Paint & coatings website". DSM. Retrieved 10 November 2012. 
  9. ^ "DSM Bio-based Products & Services". DSM. Retrieved 10 November 2012. 
  10. ^ "Vision 2010 completed". 
  11. ^ Volberda, Henk (2013). Re-inventing Business. Assen: Van Gorcum. p. 270. ISBN 978 90 232 5146 0. 
  12. ^ From Coal to Biotech - The Transformation of DSM with Business School Support | Springer
  13. ^ DSM CFO Schwalb: M&A Involves Fair Amount of 'Luck'. Available online. Retrieved on March 20, 2013.
  14. ^ "DSM Sinochem Pharmaceuticals website". DSM Sinochem Pharmaceuticals. Retrieved 10 November 2012. 
  15. ^ "Ocean Nutrition Canada website". Ocean Nutrition Canada. Retrieved 10 November 2012. 
  16. ^ "Cargill website". Cargill. Retrieved 8 November 2012. 
  17. ^ "Fortitech website". Fortitech. Retrieved 8 November 2012. 
  18. ^ "Tortuga website (Spanish/Portuguese)". Tortuga. Retrieved 8 November 2012. 
  19. ^ Royal DSM and JLL Partners Create DPx - 03 - 2014 - Information center - Media - DSM
  20. ^ 16
  21. ^ 1902 Staatsmijnen 1952. Heerlen. 1952. p. 410. 
  22. ^ Messing, F.A.M. (1988). De Mijnsluiting in Limburg. Leiden: Nijhoff. p. 224. ISBN 90-6890-241-5. 
  23. ^ Activities
  24. ^ a b DSM and CVC announce partnership for Polymer Intermediates and Composite Resins - 03 - 2015 - Information center - Media - DSM
  25. ^ "Nutrition Improvement Program website". DSM. Retrieved 19 November 2012. 
  26. ^ "Bloomberg Businessweek company profile DSM Nutritional Products". Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved 25 July 2013. 
  27. ^ "Bloomberg Businessweek company profile DSM Food Specialties". Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved 25 July 2013.