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Sigma-Aldrich Corporation
Subsidiary of Merck KGaA
Traded as NASDAQ: SIAL
Industry Chemicals
Founded August 1975
Defunct November 18, 2015[1]
Headquarters St. Louis, Missouri
United States
Key people
Rakesh Sachdev, President and CEO[2]
Products Life Science Technologies and Specialty Chemicals
Revenue US$ 2,785.0 million (2014) [3]
US$ 681.0 million (2014) [3]
US$ 500.0 million (2014) [3]
Total assets US$ 4,195.0 million (2014) [3]
Total equity US$ 3,130.0 million (2014) [3]
Number of employees

Sigma-Aldrich Corporation was an American multinational chemical, life science and biotechnology company. In September 2014, the German company Merck KGaA announced that it would be acquiring Sigma-Aldrich for $17.0 billion, pending approval from national regulatory agencies.[4] The acquisition was completed in 2015, and Sigma-Aldrich was merged with the Merck Millipore subsidiary of Merck, and the combined business will be known simply as Merck.[5]

Created by the 1975 merger of Sigma Chemical Company and Aldrich Chemical Company, Sigma-Aldrich since grew through various acquisitions until it had over 9,600 employees and was listed on the Fortune 1000 at the time of its acquisition by Merck. Sigma-Aldrich was headquartered in St. Louis and had operations in approximately 40 countries, which are now part of Merck.[6]


Sigma Chemical Company of St Louis and Aldrich Chemical Company of Milwaukee (founded by Alfred Bader) were both American specialty chemical companies when they merged in August 1975.[7] The company grew throughout the 80's and 90's, with significant expansion in facilities, acquisitions and diversification into new market sectors.

Other key events[edit]

  • 2001 – Acquisition of Isotec,[8] a stable isotope production company, whose products are used in basic research and the diagnosis of disease.
  • 2004 – Acquisitions of Ultrafine, a supplier of contract manufacturing services for drug development, and Tetrionics, a producer of high potency and cytotoxic active pharmaceutical ingredients.[9]
  • 2005 – Acquisitions of JRH Biosciences,[10] an industrial supplier of cell culture products for the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, and the Proligo Group, a global supplier of genomics research tools; announced membership in The RNAi Consortium.[11]
  • 2006 – Acquisitions of Beijing Superior Chemicals and Instruments Co.,[12] Iropharm, Pharmorphix Ltd.,[13] and Advanced Separation Technologies,[14] a manufacturer of products for chiral chromatography.
  • 2007 – Acquisitions of Epichem Group Ltd.[15] to expand capabilities in materials sciences and semiconductor markets, and Molecular Medicine BioServices to provide large-scale viral manufacturing capabilities; announced alliance with Sangamo BioSciences to develop zinc finger-based laboratory research reagents.
  • 2012 - acquisition of BioReliance, a toxicology and veterinary diagnostics company.[16] BioReliance had previously been acquired by Invitrogen and subsequently sold to Avista Capital Partners.[17]
  • 2014 - Merck KGaA announced that it would purchase Sigma-Aldrich for US$17,000,000,000.[18][19]
  • November 3, 2014 – Sigma-Aldrich filed a definitive proxy statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to hold a special investors meeting regarding approval for the sale to Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany.[20]

Key numbers[edit]

Key numbers for Sigma-Aldrich.[3]

Revenues: [21]

  • $2.79 billion (2014)


  • 100,000 chemical products (46,000 manufactured)
  • 30,000 laboratory equipment products


  • Approximately one million individual customers worldwide
  • 88,000 accounts

Geographies (% of 2008 sales):

  • United States 35%
  • Europe 43%
  • Canada, Asia Pacific, Latin America 22%

Corporate Structure[edit]

The company is divided into four business units, for which separate financial performance data are reported:[22]

  • Research Biotech – Specialty kits for life science research, including functional genomics, proteomics, and cell biology.
  • Research Specialties – Specialty analytical, biochemical and chemical products.
  • Research Essentials – Commonly used laboratory chemicals and supplies.
  • SAFC – Development and manufacturing services to the pharmaceutical, biopharmaceutical and diagnostic sectors.


The Aldrich Logo.

Aldrich is a supplier in the research and fine chemicals market. Aldrich provides organic and inorganic chemicals, building blocks, reagents, advanced materials and stable isotopes for chemical synthesis, medicinal chemistry and materials science. Aldrich's chemicals catalog, the "Aldrich Catalog and Handbook" is often used as a handbook due to the inclusion of structures, physical data, and literature references.

The Sigma Logo.

Sigma is the Sigma-Aldrich's main biochemical supplier, with offerings including antibiotics, buffers, carbohydrates, enzymes, forensic tools, hematology and histology, nucleotides, proteins, peptides, amino acids and their derivatives.

The Sigma RBI Logo.

Sigma RBI produces specialized products for use in the field of cell signaling and neuroscience. Their offerings range from standard biochemical reagents to specialized research tools, including ligands for receptors and ion channels, enzyme inhibitors, phosphospecific antibodies, key signal transduction enzymes, and assay kits for cell signaling.

The ISOTEC Logo.

ISOTEC provides isotopically labeled products for protein structure determination, peptide synthesis, proteomics, metabolic research, magnetic resonance imaging, nuclear magnetic resonance, breath test substrates, agriculture, as well as gas and gas mixes.

The Fluka Logo.

Fluka manufactures chemicals and reagents for analytical, organic and biochemical research, and intermediates for the chemical and pharmaceutical industries.

The Riedel-de Haën Logo.

Riedel-de Haën was incorporated with Sigma-Aldrich in 1999 and manufactures reagents and standards.

The Supelco Logo.

Supelco is the chromatography products branch of Sigma-Aldrich. It provides chromatography columns and related tools for environmental, government, food and beverage, pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical and chemical laboratories; sample preparation products and chemical reference standards.

The SAFC Logo.

Sigma-Aldrich Fine Chemicals (SAFC) is the fine chemical supply branch of Sigma-Aldrich specializing in raw materials for cell culture products; customized services for raw materials, manufacturing of active pharmaceutical ingredients.

Sigma Life Science provides products such as custom DNA/RNA oligos; custom DNA and LNA probes; siRNA; isotopically-labelled peptides and peptide libraries.

Sigma Advanced Genetic Engineering (SAGE) Labs is a division within Sigma-Aldrich that specializes in genetic manipulation of in vivo systems for special research and development applications. It was formed in 2008 to investigate zinc finger nuclease technology and its application for disease research models. Located in St. Louis, Missouri, SAGE Labs have developed knockout rats for the study of human diseases and disorders (such as autism), which are sold for up to $95,000. SAGE also announced its first successful effort in creating a "knockout rabbit".[23] Its facilities include a specific pathogen free, biosecure vivarium as well as research and development labs.

Carbolabs produces research quantities of chemicals produced by phosgenation reactions. The company was acquired in 1998.[24]

BioReliance provides testing and manufacturing services to pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical companies that span the product cycle from early pre-clinical development to licensed production. The company was acquired by Sigma Aldrich in January 2012.


Sigma-Aldrich is located in 40 countries world-wide. In territories where they are not present, Sigma-Aldrich operates through a network of authorized distributors. A list of them can be found below:

The company also operates an eCommerce platform "which offers 24-hour delivery in major markets."[19]


Sigma-Aldrich has been recognized for its commitment to the community and environment numerous times:

  • Global 100 by Corporate Knights[28]
  • Dow Jones Sustainability Indices [29]
  • Carbon Disclosure Project [30]
  • CR’s 100 Best Corporate Citizens [31]
  • The Civic 50 [32]
  • Maplecroft Climate Innovation Indexes [33]
  • Natural Capital Leaders Index [34]


  1. ^ "Defunct" (XBRL). Merck. November 18, 2015. 
  2. ^ Sigma-Aldrich - Board of Directors
  3. ^ a b c d e f "SIGMA ALDRICH CORP (10-K), Consolidated Statements of Income" (XBRL). United States Securities and Exchange Commission. February 12, 2015. 
  4. ^ ""Sigma-Aldrich, Merck KGaA Press Release, 22 Sept. 2014" (PDF). 
  5. ^ Customer Letter
  6. ^ "Sigma-Aldrich Corporation – Investor Relations". 
  7. ^ "Funding Universe History of Sigma-Aldrich Corporation". Funding-Universe. 
  8. ^ "Sigma-Aldrich Corp acquires Isotec Inc from Taiyo Nippon Sanso Corp". 
  9. ^ "Sigma-Aldrich Corp acquires Ultrafine". 
  10. ^ "Sigma-Aldrich Corp acquires JRH Biosciences Inc from CSL Ltd". 
  11. ^ "NCBI on Sigma-Aldrich". 
  12. ^ "Sigma-Aldrich Corp acquires Beijing Superior Chem & Instr". 
  13. ^ "Sigma-Aldrich Corp acquires Pharmorphix Ltd". 
  14. ^ "Sigma-Aldrich Corp acquires Advanced Separation Tech Inc from Calgon Carbon Corp". 
  15. ^ "Sigma-Aldrich Corp acquires Epichem Group Ltd". 
  16. ^ Associated Press (9 Jan 2012), "Sigma-Aldrich to buy BioReliance Hldgs for $350M", News (Bioscience Technology), retrieved 11 Jan 2012 
  17. ^ Invitrogen Completes Divestiture of BioReliance (press release), Life Technologies, 12 April 2007, retrieved 11 Jan 2012 
  18. ^ Ludwig Burger (September 22, 2014). "Germany's Merck to buy Sigma-Aldrich for $17 billion to boost lab supplies operation". Reuters. Retrieved September 23, 2014. 
  19. ^ a b Staff (October 15, 2014). "Merck KGaA to Acquire Sigma-Aldrich for $17B". Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News. p. 10. 
  20. ^ "Sigma-Aldrich Corporation Announces Filing Of Definitive Proxy Statement And Date Of Special Meeting Of Stockholders". Acquire Media. Retrieved 3 November 2014.  External link in |website= (help)
  21. ^ "Sigma-Aldrich Corporate Fact Sheet" (PDF). 
  22. ^ "Sigma-Aldrich Corporation Quarterly Report, May 2009". 
  23. ^ "SAGE's Latest Knockout: $95,000 Lab Rats". Fast Company. 
  24. ^ "Carbolabs purchased". ICIS. 
  25. ^ "Distributor Nigeria". 
  26. ^ "Distributor Turkey". 
  27. ^ "Distributor Romania". 
  28. ^ "2015 Global 100". Corporate Knights. 
  29. ^ "Dow Jones Sustainability North America Index" (PDF). 
  30. ^ "Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index" (PDF). 
  31. ^ "Corporate Responsibility Magazine, 100 Best Corp Citizens List 2014" (PDF). 
  32. ^ "Civic50". 
  33. ^ "Maplecroft Climate Innovation Indexes". 
  34. ^ "Trucost Natural Capital Leaders, by Industry, 2014" (PDF). 

External links[edit]

Media related to Sigma-Aldrich at Wikimedia Commons