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Sigma-Aldrich Corporation
S&P 500 Component
Industry Basic Materials
Headquarters St. Louis, Missouri
United States
Key people
Rakesh Sachdev, President and CEO[1]
Products Life Science Technologies and Specialty Chemicals
  • Increase US$ 2,785.0 million (2014) [2]
  • Increase US$ 2,704.0 million (2013) [2]
  • Increase US$ 681.0 million (2014) [2]
  • Increase US$ 661.0 million (2013) [2]
  • Increase US$ 500.0 million (2014) [2]
  • Increase US$ 500.0 million (2013) [2]
Total assets
  • Increase US$ 4,195.0 million (2014) [3]
  • Increase US$ 3,805.0 million (2013) [2]
Total equity
  • Increase US$ 3,130.0 million (2014) [3]
  • Increase US$ 2,895.0 million (2013) [2]
Number of employees

Sigma-Aldrich Corporation is an American life science and high technology company with over 9,600 employees and operations in 40 countries.[4] Its chemical and biochemical products and kits are used in scientific research, biotechnology, pharmaceutical development, the diagnosis of disease, and as key components in high technology manufacturing.[5] In 2014, a plan was announced whereby Merck KGaA would purchase the company. This is expected to be achieved in mid-2015. [6]


Sigma Chemical Company of St Louis and Aldrich Chemical Company of Milwaukee (founded by Alfred Bader) were two leading American specialty chemical companies (companies from which chemists could buy thousands of specific compounds by mail order) when they merged in 1975. By 2001, Sigma-Aldrich had a total corporate offering of more than 100,000 chemical products.[7]

After the merger[edit]

Aldrich Chemical Co. merged with Sigma International, Ltd. to form Sigma-Aldrich Corporation in August 1975, when changing trends in chemical research confirmed the synergy to be realized from their complementary product offerings.[8] Annual double-digit growth was the norm in the 80s and 90s, with significant expansion in facilities, major acquisitions and ventures into new market sectors. In December 2000 Sigma-Aldrich launched a strategic plan focusing the Company on “Leadership in Life Science and High Technology.” Other key initiatives on service and process improvements and a strong Internet presence have strengthened Sigma-Aldrich’s current position as a leading technology company.[7] In October, 2000, Sigma-Aldrich announced the intention to enter into a manufacturing and exclusive distribution agreement with Proteome Systems.[9] In Sep, 2001, Sigma-Aldrich donated $250,000—shared equally by the New York Firefighters 9-11 Disaster Relief Fund and the WTC Police Disaster Relief Fund—on behalf of its employees, customers and shareholders.

Other key events[edit]

  • 2001 – Acquisition of Isotec,[10] a leader in stable isotope production, whose products are used in basic research and the diagnosis of disease; opening of $55 million Life Science and High Technology Center in St. Louis.
  • 2002 – BioInformatics, LLC ranks Sigma-Aldrich first in service, catalogs and Web.[11]
  • 2003 – Doubling of US sales force; $57 million investment in production, R&D and warehousing.
  • 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.[12]
  • 2005 – Acquisitions of JRH Biosciences,[13] a major industrial supplier of cell culture products for the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, for $370 million, and the Proligo Group, a global supplier of key genomics research tools; announced membership in The RNAi Consortium and joined leading institutions including MIT, Harvard, and Eli Lilly to develop and distribute genome-wide shRNA libraries globally.[14]
  • 2006 – Acquisitions of Beijing Superior Chemicals and Instruments Co.[15] establishing a Wholly Foreign Owned Enterprise (WFOE) in China, Iropharm, Pharmorphix Ltd.,[16] and Advanced Separation Technologies,[17] a manufacturer of products for chiral chromatography.
  • 2007 – Acquisitions of Epichem Group Ltd.[18] 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.
  • 2008 – Introduced Prestige Antibodies line for proteomics and cell biology research; introduced ChIP kit technology for epigenetic research; Supelco introduced Ascentis Express HPLC columns with the Fused Core technology for high-speed, high-efficiency separation; BioInformatics, LLC ranks Sigma-Aldrich first for usefulness and ease-of-use of online and print catalogs.
  • 2012 – acquisition of BioReliance, a provider of "biologic, specialized toxicology and animal health testing services".[19] BioReliance had previously been acquired by Invitrogen and subsequently sold to Avista Capital Partners.[20]
  • 2014 - Merck KGaA announced that it would purchase Sigma-Aldrich for US$17 billion.[6][21]
  • 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.[22]
  • December 5, 2014 – Special Meeting for sale to Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany.

Key numbers[edit]

Key numbers for Sigma-Aldrich.[23]

Revenues: [24]

  • $2.7 billion (2013)


  • 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%

Business units[edit]

Organizational structure aligns to meet the specific needs of four customer segments:[25]


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

  • Global 100 by Corporate Knights[26]
  • Dow Jones Sustainability Indices [27]
  • Newsweek Green Rankings
  • Carbon Disclosure Project [28]
  • CR’s 100 Best Corporate Citizens [29]
  • The Civic 50 [30]
  • Maplecroft Climate Innovation Indexes [31]
  • Natural Capital Leaders Index [32]

Product lines[edit]

Sigma-Aldrich has a variety of product lines, each offered under separate branding.



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. Many students use it as a reference book, especially undergraduates, as it is offered free by request.


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.

Sigma RBI[edit]

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 the latest cutting–edge research tools, including new ligands for receptors and ion channels, novel 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.

Riedel-de Haën[edit]

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.

Sigma-Aldrich Fine Chemicals[edit]

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 (formally Sigma-Genosys)[edit]

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[edit]

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".[33] 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.[34]

BioReliance by SAFC[edit]

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. Facilities include state of the art labs in Rockville, MD, The United Kingdom, and Tokyo Japan.


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."[21]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ CEO of Sigma-Aldrich Dies; Successor Named[dead link]
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "SIGMA ALDRICH CORP (10-K), Consolidated Statements of Income" (XBRL). United States Securities and Exchange Commission. February 12, 2015. 
  3. ^ a b "SIGMA ALDRICH CORP (10-K), Consolidated Balance Sheets" (XBRL). United States Securities and Exchange Commission. February 12, 2015. 
  4. ^ "Sigma-Aldrich Corporation – Investor Relations". 
  5. ^ "Yahoo Finance Profile for Sigma-Aldrich Corporation". 
  6. ^ a b 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. 
  7. ^ a b "History of Sigma-Aldrich" (PDF). Aldrichimica Acta, vol. 34, no. 2, 2001, PDF pages 5–16. 
  8. ^ "Funding Universe History of Sigma-Aldrich Corporation". Funding-Universe. 
  9. ^ "Sigma-Aldrich and Proteome Systems Announce Proteomics Alliance". 
  10. ^ "Sigma-Aldrich Corp acquires Isotec Inc from Taiyo Nippon Sanso Corp". 
  11. ^ "BiofInformatics, LLC: Life Science Marketing—Who’s on Top?". 
  12. ^ "Sigma-Aldrich Corp acquires Ultrafine". 
  13. ^ "Sigma-Aldrich Corp acquires JRH Biosciences Inc from CSL Ltd". 
  14. ^ "NCBI on Sigma-Aldrich". 
  15. ^ "Sigma-Aldrich Corp acquires Beijing Superior Chem & Instr". 
  16. ^ "Sigma-Aldrich Corp acquires Pharmorphix Ltd". 
  17. ^ "Sigma-Aldrich Corp acquires Advanced Separation Tech Inc from Calgon Carbon Corp". 
  18. ^ "Sigma-Aldrich Corp acquires Epichem Group Ltd". 
  19. ^ Associated Press (9 Jan 2012), "Sigma-Aldrich to buy BioReliance Hldgs for $350M", News (Bioscience Technology), retrieved 11 Jan 2012 
  20. ^ Invitrogen Completes Divestiture of BioReliance (press release), Life Technologies, 12 April 2007, retrieved 11 Jan 2012 
  21. ^ a b Staff (October 15, 2014). "Merck KGaA to Acquire Sigma-Aldrich for $17B". Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News. p. 10. 
  22. ^ "Sigma-Aldrich Corporation Announces Filing Of Definitive Proxy Statement And Date Of Special Meeting Of Stockholders". Acquire Media. Retrieved 3 November 2014. 
  23. ^ "SEC Info – Sigma-Aldrich Corporation". 
  24. ^ (PDF)  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  25. ^ "Sigma-Aldrich Corporation Quarterly Report, May 2009". 
  26. ^ "2015 Global 100". Corporate Knights. 
  27. ^ "Dow Jones Sustainability North America Index" (PDF). 
  28. ^ "Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index" (PDF). 
  29. ^ (PDF)  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  30. ^ "Civic50". 
  31. ^ "Maplecroft Climate Innovation Indexes". 
  32. ^ (PDF)  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  33. ^ "SAGE's Latest Knockout: $95,000 Lab Rats". Fast Company. 
  34. ^ "Carbolabs purchased". ICIS. 
  35. ^ "Distributor Nigeria". 
  36. ^ "Distributor Turkey". 
  37. ^ "Distributor Romania". 

External links[edit]