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Synthomer plc
Public (LSESYNT)
Industry Chemicals
Founded 1863
Headquarters Harlow, Essex, England
Key people
Peter Wood (Chairman)
Adrian Whitfield (CEO)
Derick Whyte (COO)
Revenue £936.4 million (2014)[1]
£96.5 million (2014)[1]
£46.3 million (2014)[1]

Synthomer plc (LSESYNT), formerly known as Yule Catto & Co, is a British-based chemicals business. It is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index.


The Company traces its routes back to the year 1863, when Andrew Yule founded a trading house known as Andrew Yule & Co. in Calcutta.[2] At the same time Andrew's brother, George Yule, set up George Yule & Co. in London, which acted as British agency arm of Andrew Yule & Co.[3]

When in 1919 Andrew Yule & Co. and George Yule & Co. were sold to the US banking group J.P. Morgan & Co. and its British merchant banking affiliate Morgan Grenfell & Co. both were turned from a partnership into a private limited company.[4] That same year Thomas Catto (1879-1959) was sent to India to take over the management of the firm from Sir David Yule (1858-1928), a nephew of Andrew Yule.[5] David Yule continued to hold the title of Chairman but had no active part in the operations of the business.[5]

In 1920 Thomas Catto and David Yule changed the name of the British purchasing arm of Andrew Yule & Co., George Yule and Company, to Yule, Catto & Company Ltd.[6] Due to increased taxation, the devaluation of the Indian rupee and the abolition of the managing agency system, Yule, Catto & Co decided in 1969 to sell its shareholding in Andrew Yule & Co. to the Indian government.[7]

With the acquisition of Revertex Chemicals in 1980,[6] Thomas Catto's son, Stephen (1923-2001) started to turn Yule Catto & Co. into an international speciality chemicals and building products manufacturer.[8] Since 2007 the Group has been transformed from a diversified chemical business to a focussed speciality polymer business. In 2012 the company changed its name to Synthomer on the basis that the majority of its business already traded under that name.[9]


The Company has three activities: Polymer chemicals, Pharma chemicals and Impact chemicals.[2]


  1. ^ a b c "Preliminary Results 2014". Retrieved 3 April 2015. 
  2. ^ a b "Yule Catto - Company Structure Information from ICIS". Retrieved 3 April 2015. 
  3. ^ Yule, Catto & Co AIM 25
  4. ^ Jones, p.96
  5. ^ a b "Yule Newsletter - Issue 23". Retrieved 3 April 2015. 
  6. ^ a b Jones, p.325
  7. ^ Jones, p. 297
  8. ^ Obituary: Lord Catto Daily Telegraph, 6 September 2001
  9. ^ Interim Management Statement of Yule Catto & Co Plc for the period 1 July to 8 November 2012


  • Jones, Geoffrey (2007). Merchants to Multinationals. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-829450-4. 

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