Company History

At the beginning of the Company's history, we meet a 28 year-old merchant who was interested in science - Fritz Henkel. On September 26, 1876 he and two partners founded the company Henkel & Cie in Aachen and marketed his first product, a universal detergent based on silicate.

During the following years, this German family of entrepreneurs and thousands of their employees built Henkel into a global company. 

1876

The 28-year-old Fritz Henkel and his two partners founded the company Henkel & Cie in Aachen on September 26, 1876. Its first product was a washing powder based on water-glass. In contrast to all similar products, which at that time were sold loose, this heavy-duty detergent was marketed in handy packets.

In Canada, on Prince Edward Island, William E. LePage discovered how to manufacture glue from fish. He set up his own company and within a short time was supplying customers in Canada, the USA and Europe. When it took over LePage in 1995, Henkel became the Canadian market leader in adhesives for craftsmen and the do-it-yourself sector.


1877

Ernst Sieglin (1848 - 1927) started to produce soap powder in Aachen. Together with Dr. Richard Thompson in Bradford, England, he succeeded in turning soap into powder. Sieglin was given the exclusive right of sale for Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium in 1880. Henkel acquired a shareholding in the Düsseldorf company, Dr. Thompson's Seifenpulver GmbH, in 1929 and became the sole shareholder in 1933.

1878

The first German brand-name detergent appeared: Henkel's Bleich-Soda [Bleaching Soda], an affordably priced product supplied in sturdy paper bags. Made from water-glass and soda, it was the result of Fritz Henkel's own research. The soda was obtained from Matthes & Weber in Duisburg. Henkel bought this company in 1917 and sold it in 1994.

To take advantage of the better transport links and sales opportunities, Henkel relocated his company to Düsseldorf on the Rhine. Düsseldorf was the gateway to the Ruhr region, which became the most important industrial area of the German Empire from the 19th century onward.

1879

Fritz Henkel was entered as the sole owner in the register of companies. Sales of Henkel's Bleaching Soda increased so rapidly that within just one year the rented factory on the Schützenstraße in Düsseldorf was unable to meet the demand. Fritz Henkel decided to build his own factory with a railway link.

Ernst Sieglin sold his detergent as a packaged product with a fixed price under the tradename "Dr. Thompson's Seifen-Pulver - Marke Schwan." This was also one of the first German brandname products.

1880

Henkel bought a plot of land on the Gerresheimer Straße in Düsseldorf-Oberbilk. In October 1880 the Company started to build a new factory.


1881

In Hannover, Germany, Ferdinand Sichel (1859 - 1930) succeeded in making the world's first ready-to-use decorator's glue. Henkel acquired the Sichel Werke AG Hannover in 1962.

In Chemnitz, Theodor Böhme founded a business selling pharmaceuticals, dyes and technical products. In 1902, the company started to produce its own floor polish under the brand name Cirine and in 1906 a chemicals factory to manufacture sulfonated oils and fats was built. Henkel acquired a shareholding in the company Böhme Fettchemie, Chemnitz, in 1935 and took over the remaining shares in 1941.

1882

In late June, 19 Henkel factory workers were obliged to join the "Allgemeine Fabrikarbeiter-Unterstützungskasse in Düsseldorf" [general factory workers' support fund in Düsseldorf]. In 1883 statutory general health insurance liability was introduced in Germany, and in 1884 the Gemeinsame Orts-Krankenkasse Düsseldorf [Düsseldorf joint local sickness benefit fund] was established, which all factory workers joined.

1883

To improve liquidity and make better use of the Company's travelling sales staff, Fritz Henkel decided to sell merchandise in addition to his detergents. Sales started in 1884. The range included the colorant ultramarine [laundry bluing agent], gloss starch, a liquid cleaning agent, a pomade for cleaning, beef extract, and a hair pomade.

1884

With the goal of achieving more independence from suppliers of raw materials and producing the Company's own high-quality water-glass, Fritz Henkel bought the Rheinische Wasserglasfabrik from his former partners and transferred the plant and all its equipment to Düsseldorf.

The chemical factory Landshoff & Meyer was founded in Berlin-Grünau. In 1986, Henkel bought a shareholding in Chemische Fabrik Grünau, which relocated to Illertissen in Bavaria after the Second World War.

1885

Henkel took part in an exhibition outside Germany for the first time, the international industrial exhibition in Antwerp, and received a certificate of honor in 1886.

Henkel joined the Berufsgenossenschaft der Chemischen Industrie [workers' compensation insurance of the chemical industry], which was founded in the German Empire.


1886

In Austria, Henkel opened its first sales office outside Germany. Carl Pathe had gone to Vienna as a representative the year before.

At the Emery company in Cincinnati, Ohio, the chemist Ernst Twitchell began his intensive research in the field of oleochemistry. In 1900, he developed the Twitchell process. Henkel incorporated this process in its first fat hydrolysis plant in 1909. The successor company Emery Industries Inc, is now a subsidiary of Henkel of America Inc, USA.

1887

A start was made on the packaging and worldwide sale of Henkel's Thee [Henkel's Tea], an activity which continued until 1913. Henkel's Thee was Germany's first brand-name tea and was sold in decorative, aroma-retentive cans. At that time, tea was usually stored and sold loose and thus quickly lost its aroma. At its high point, tea accounted for more than 10 percent of the Company's sales.

1888

Ferdinand Sichel developed the first ready-to-use wallpaper paste. The decorator's glue of 1881 and Sichel wallpaper paste revolutionized centuries-old working methods in just a short time and significantly improved the results.

A second water-glass furnace had to be built at Henkel's Düsseldorf site. A water-glass furnace consumed 20 tons of sand, 10 tons of soda and 20 tons of coal each week. These materials were prepared by hand, which was strenuous and dusty work.

1889

Henkel conducted its first business transactions with customers in the Netherlands and Switzerland.

In the second half of the 19th century Henkel launched a new epoch: the development of field sales districts. Customers were visited around four times each year. The travelling sales staff's tours initially covered the German Baltic Sea region, and subsequently eastern and central Germany. By 1896, Henkel's travelling sales staff were active throughout Germany.

1890

Henkel in Düsseldorf was prospering: Corporate sales reached 518,000 Marks and production amounted to 1,973 tons. The growth in production made the building of a new warehouse essential.


1891

The company R. Thompson & Co changed its name to Ernst Sieglin, Fabrik von Dr. Thompsons' Seifenpulver [Ernst Sieglin, Dr. Thompson's soap powder factory]. In 1896, Sieglin built a plant in Düsseldorf on the Erkrather Straße. This site now houses the Thompson-Siegel production lines and the offices of Henkel Bautechnik.

1892

Sichel widened its production range to include fabric finishes, technical consumer products and adhesives for various craft and industrial sectors. In 1896, Ferdinand Sichel moved his company to Limmer near Hannover. Today it houses Henkel's Pritt production company.

1893

Henkel established its first business links with England and Italy.

The 17-year-old Fritz Henkel jun. (1875 - 1930) joined the firm as an apprentice. After receiving commercial training he became his father's right-hand man in commercial matters. He put Henkel's brand-name product business on a sound footing, developed its already successful advertising still further and was responsible for the Company's field service.

1894

The Henkel factory on the Gerresheimer Straße was connected to Düsseldorf's new sewage network. Problems with the terrain of the site prevented the creation of the urgently needed railway link, on which Fritz Henkel pinned so many hopes.

1895

On March 9, 1895, the lion picture mark was entered in the register of trademarks. Since 1878, the brand name Henkel's Bleich-Soda and the lion, together with the paper bag package, had formed a legally "deposited" trademark.

A new gas-fired melting furnace was taken into operation at the Henkel factory. As it was gas-fired, the furnace could be used day and night. Liquid water-glass could thus be drawn off continuously instead of in separate batches.


1896

Registration of the trademark Henkel's Bleich-Soda [Bleaching Soda]. By this time Henkel products were already sold in 280 towns in the German Empire.

1897

All of Henkel's raw materials and finished products had to be transported by horse-drawn vehicles. This transport problem, as well as basic corporate policy principles, prompted Fritz Henkel to plan another change of location. The objective was to facilitate further growth and at last enable the necessary railway and harbor links to be created.

Henkel developed Martellin, a potassium fertilizer, which was a by-product of water-glass manufacture. Martellin was first marketed in 1898 and was used primarily in the cultivation of tobacco, hops and wine.

1898

By taking over a drugstore and perfumery in Berlin-Charlottenburg, Hans Schwarzkopf (1874 - 1921) established the Schwarzkopf company, which subsequently became one of the major cosmetics businesses in Germany. Henkel acquired Schwarzkopf in 1995.

In Mannheim, the businessman Theodor Ross (1868 - 1939) founded a company to produce technical consumer products, initially cleaning and care products for household and industrial use. The successor company, Teroson in Heidelberg, was acquired by Henkel in 1991.

Transiederei Pust & Neynaber was founded in Geestemünde near Bremerhaven. When Oscar Neynaber & Co AG near Loxstedt joined Henkel in 1968, Henkel became the market leader in lubricants for PVC processing.

1899

Fritz Henkel bought land covering 54,846 square meters in rural Holthausen to the south of Düsseldorf.
On July 22 the foundation stones were laid for a bleaching soda factory, a water-glass factory, a boilerhouse with workshops and an office building.

Annual sales of water-glass, Henkel's Bleich-Soda, Henkel's Thee and Martellin fertilizer passed the one million mark. The main customer for water-glass was Degussa.

1900

In March, production started at the new site in Holthausen. By the end of the year it had reached 8,225 tons, representing an increase of 66 percent over the figure for 1899 at the old site.

Sales of Henkel's Bleich-Soda [Bleaching Soda] exceeded 10 million 500-gram packets.

The word mark “Schwan” was registered for Ernst Sieglin, Fabrik von Dr. Thompson’s Seifenpulver.


1901

A start was made on the construction of a Rhine harbor in neighboring Reisholz. This "Rhine wharf" handled 180,000 tons in its first year of operation. From 1908, raw materials and Henkel finished products were transshipped in this harbor.

1902

Floral flower fertilizer was launched, and remained in the product range until 1917. Its success was based on its rich content of nitrogen, phosphoric acid and soluble silica.

Undeveloped areas of the site were used as trial plots for testing synthetic fertilizers from 1900 onward.

1903

Schwarzkopf launched the first hair-washing powder on the German market: Schaumpon, with the now familiar black icon of a head in profile. Until then it had been usual to wash hair with hard soap or expensive oils. In May 1904, the icon was registered as a trademark at the Imperial German Patent Office.

In Cologne, the businessmen Eugen Wolff and Oskar Siegel founded Chemische Fabrik Siegel & Co. In 1966, the company, which by that time had been renamed Sidol-Werk Siegel & Co after its best-known product, entered into a cooperation agreement with the Thompson company, and in 1969 the two companies merged to form Thompson-Siegel GmbH.

1904

Development of Diadermine in France. Due to their high level of effectiveness, Diadermine facial care products were sold exclusively in drugstores until 1950. From 1981 onward, the Diadermine brand was introduced in other European countries. It has belonged to Henkel since 1980.

On July 25, Fritz Henkel jun. became a partner in Henkel, which was transformed into a general commercial partnership. By this time, 110 people were employed at the Holthausen site.

1905

On April 25, Dr. Hugo Henkel (1881 - 1952), the youngest son of Fritz Henkel sen., joined the Company as a chemist. He was in charge of Chemical Products and Technology, laid the foundations of systematic research and introduced advanced technologies and new raw materials. In 1908, he became a personally liable partner in the Company.

Many employees had moved house from Düsseldorf to Holthausen. In the five years of existence of the Henkel plant, the number of residential buildings in Holthausen had almost doubled, from 90 to 177, and the number of residents had more than tripled, from 600 to 1,884.


1906

Henkel started researching the chemistry of washing, bleaching and peroxide. A former fellow student of Dr. Hugo Henkel, the chemist Dr. Hermann Weber, took on the special task of researching the use of oxygen-containing salts as bleaching agents in washing powder.

The company Cordes & Co GmbH was founded in Minden on the Weser. It became a specialist in adhesives, especially (in later years) synthetic resin dispersion adhesives for the wallcoverings industry. In 1970 Cordes became a member of Henkel.

After six years of production at the new Holthausen site, Henkel's sales and its workforce had both doubled, to more than 2 million Marks and 224 people.

1907

The month of June saw the birth of Persil, the world's first self-acting detergent. Persil started a peaceful revolution in the washhouse: Housewives could obtain clean, dazzling white laundry after boiling it just once, without rubbing and bleaching.

In the fall of 1907, Thompson also launched an ozone soap powder under the name Ozonit, which was later changed to Ozonil. However, it was unable to halt Persil's triumphant progress.

In Newark, New Jersey/USA, the National Red Oil & Soap Company, subsequently renamed Nopco Chemicals, was founded. Its first product was a sulfonated vegetable oil for textile dyeing. In 1987 Henkel bought Nopco.

1908

Persil's success exceeded all expectations: Annual production rose to 4,700 tons. A new soap factory became operational in July, a first double packet filling machine was employed and a crate nailing machine was imported from the USA. In just one year the number of employees rose by 50 percent to 485.

At the same time a start was made on the export of Persil. Albert Blum & Co became the general agent in Switzerland.

The Schwarzkopf product range included three sorts of Schaumpon (egg, tar, chamomile) and tooth powder.

1909

Henkel built a fatty acid factory, the subsequent "oil plant". Work began in the first of its own fat hydrolysis plants in December, using the Twitchell process.

Henkel concluded licensing agreements for the manufacture of Persil in France and England: In France with the Société d'Electro Chimie and in England with the soap factory Joseph Crosfields & Sons Ltd. The companies with the Persil trademarks in England and France were bought by Unilever.

1910

In mid-April, Henkel's first site library was established, containing 2,450 books. Patent specifications were also collected there. A press clippings service was set up and an archive started for these cuttings. This was subsequently the basis of the business review documentation and Company archives.

Henkel realized that glycerine, which was regarded as a waste product, could be the basis of a profitable business sector. It built a glycerine factory with an evaporation plant. By the outbreak of the First World War, Henkel was Europe's biggest producer of glycerine.


1911

On April 15, a Plant Fire Department was created, initially with 25 volunteer firefighters. The first professional firefighter was engaged in 1913 and was followed by three more full-time colleagues in 1914.

Henkel's first oil extraction plant came on line. The Company sold by-products of the oil extraction process as Henkel's Palmkernschrot [palm kernel pellets] and Henkel's Sojaschrot [soybean pellets] for animal feed. In addition Henkel built a new cardboard box factory and a test laundry. The first locomotive, named Persil, traveled a 2.5 km stretch of rail, drawing 13 freight cars and 8 tank cars.

1912

Total production in Düsseldorf-Holthausen rose to 49,890 tons. At 19,750 tons, Persil accounted for 40 percent of this - just five years after its market launch.

The number of employees increased by 89 relative to the previous year, resulting in a total workforce of 1,024. Around half were female.

A first-aid center was set up in the plant and a full-time nurse was employed. In the previous year Henkel had created sport and games areas to encourage employees to exercise during work breaks. Female employees could attend the plant's own housekeeping school during the lunch break.

1913

On January 29, Henkel founded its first subsidiary: Henkel & Cie AG in Basel-Pratteln, Switzerland. Until 1923, it remained Henkel's only subsidiary with a plant outside Germany.

In Düsseldorf, the chemist Otto Kossack began to produce adhesives and various care products for household use. In 1925, Kossack-Chemie took over Hooco-AG and with it the floor polish brand Dompfaff, which was very well known in Germany. Kossack became part of Henkel in 1967.

The Clorox Company was founded in Oakland, California/USA. Clorox is now one the USA's major manufacturers of consumer products. In 1974, Henkel acquired a shareholding in Clorox to facilitate the production and sale of certain products developed by Henkel for household and bulk consumers in the USA, Canada and Puerto Rico.

A 26-year-old German, Gerhard Collardin, established FAGESCO in Barcelona, Spain (Fabricacion General Española de Colores, Gerardo Collardin SA). In 1925, he founded Farbwerke Ardinit GmbH in Schönbach near Herborn in the German state of Hesse. In 1956, Henkel acquired all the shares of Ardinit GmbH.

1914

James H. Gravell founded the American Chemical Paint Company in Philadelphia, USA. Its first product was a rust inhibitor, Deoxidine, for the automotive industry. Henkel acquired the company, which by then had been renamed as Amchem Products Inc and was located in Ambler, Pennsylvania/USA, from Union Carbide in 1980.

The success of the Henkel products necessitated the construction of a new bleaching soda factory on the Holthausen site. A new boilerhouse with three steam boilers went into operation. Energy consumption had increased just as steeply as product sales.

There was a scarcity of raw materials after the outbreak of the First World War on August 1 and supplies of glue threatened to run short. The laboratory started initial tests with substitute adhesives made from water-glass.

A branch canal to the Mittelland Canal in Hannover-Linden was completed. A landing stage was constructed next to the Sichel plant. In addition, the plant was given its own rail link.

1915

Clark W. Parker founded the Parker Rust-Proof Company in the USA. He licensed a rust-inhibiting process based on phosphate. By acquiring Parker Chemicals (1987) and Amchem Products Inc (1980), two respected specialists in the fields of surface treatment and adhesives, Henkel built up its market position in the USA.

Fifty years after gaining his commercial qualification, Fritz Henkel sen. marked the occasion by founding the "Unterstützungsfonds für Arbeiter und Angestellte" (fund for the support of workers and staff). On his 70th birthday in 1918 this was followed by the "Alters- und Hinterbliebenen-Versorgung der Angestellten" (old-age and surviving dependents pension scheme).


1916

Henkel built a new water-glass factory in Holthausen, which is still there and in operation today. Due to shortages of raw materials and to government controls on fats, as of September 1 only a wartime-quality Persil could be supplied; this was an oxygen-containing detergent without added soap.


Tetralin GmbH was founded in Rodleben near Dessau. The plant was intended to produce fuel for submarines. Henkel acquired a 100 percent shareholding in its successor, Deutsche Hydrierwerke AG (abbreviated: DEHYDAG) in 1934.

1917

Henkel acquired all the shares of Matthes & Weber. The soda factory in Duisburg thus became Henkel's first subsidiary in Germany. In 1994, Henkel sold the company to D. George Harris & Associates, New York, USA.

Due to shortages of good quality raw materials, Schwarzkopf GmbH had to stop production at its Berlin plant.

1918

Henkel totally closed down the production of Persil and replaced it with the wartime washing powder. Sil was marketed as a laundry rinsing agent.

Tetralin sulfonate, the first synthetic surfactant, was produced in Rodleben.

1919

The owners of Henkel OHG - Company founder Fritz Henkel, his two sons and his daughter - appointed an 8 strong management committee to relieve them of some of their burden of work and to manage the Company. A modern management structure was created with distinct areas of responsibility.

The workforce of the Henkel plant in Holthausen numbered 2,138. During the war, 604 employees were called up for military service; 71 of them gave their lives.

1920

With the lifting of government controls on fats, Persil could again be produced in normal peacetime quality. The Company mark Henkel in a red oval appeared on the packet for the first time. A modern spray drying process in spray towers came into operation in the detergent production plant. The first works council was elected.

On June 1 Henkel launched Ata, which it used to systematically penetrate the scouring agent and household cleaning sector. From 1924 Ata was supplied in a die-cast pasteboard bottle, which over the decades became an unusual product characteristic.

In Krefeld the soap factory founded by Georg Wilhelm Melsbach in 1771 merged with 11 other companies to create the Dreiring-Werke KG. In 1924, Henkel bought a shareholding in this company, and in 1953, it acquired the remaining shares.


1921

Henkel's Bleich-Soda [Bleaching Soda] was given the brand name Henko. Henkel's three detergents met all the requirements of the classical washing method: Henko for soaking, Persil for the main wash, Sil for rinsing.

In Genthin, located between Magdeburg and Berlin, the foundation stone of the Henkel GmbH Genthin plant was laid on August 4. The most modern detergent production facility in Germany arose here in the 1920s. Expropriated in 1945, the plant became a state-owned company (VEB) of the GDR in 1949. In 1990 Henkel bought the plant back again.

William Pohl established the Kepec Chemische Fabrik GmbH in Bonn. It introduced innovative products, especially for leather processing. After it and its sister company in Wisconsin, USA, were taken over by Henkel in 1973, Kepec in Siegburg near Bonn acquired a reputation as an organic specialty chemicals specialist.

1922

The Weisse Dame [white lady], the most famous Persil advertising character, was created. She could be seen on posters, enamelled signs, gable ends and standard-time street clocks until the 1960s. In recent years the Weisse Dame has experienced a renaissance.

At the beginning of the year, Henkel began to produce adhesives for its own use (paper, board and packet adhesives).

L. L. Grombach and Max Einstein founded Standard Chemical Products Inc in Hoboken, New Jersey/USA. The factory initially produced chemicals for the textile industry. In 1960 Henkel took over the company, which by then also produced adhesives.

In Nuremberg, Germany, Henkel was one of the founders of Holzwerke Zapfendorf AG. In 1924, it bought all the shares. This, as well as the acquisition of several paper factories over the course of the years, was in line with the Company's principle of being as independent of suppliers as possible.

1923

On June 26, a glue was sold to a neighboring company for the first time. Henkel ambitiously decided to conquer the interior decorating and wallcoverings markets, where Sichel was the market leader, in addition to the packaging industry.

Henkel & Co AS was founded in Copenhagen: The Company's first new subsidiary outside Germany since the First World War.

M. J. Osborn set up the company Economics Laboratory (Ecolab) in St. Paul, Minnesota/USA. In 1989, Henkel acquired a minority shareholding in Ecolab Inc

French troops occupied the Ruhr region of Germany. This provoked strikes; productivity fell and inflation rose.

1924

In Düsseldorf, Henkel created the Großverbrauch (GV) department to handle bulk buyers. It sold detergents, household cleaners, dishwashing agents and disinfectants to institutional bulk buyers such as laundries, catering businesses and hospitals.

Theodor Ross relocated to Heidelberg, where a start was made on the development and manufacture of products for automobiles. In 1926, the first trademark was registered: Teroson MK 26, the name of an engine housing cement.

Launch of Ata in its unusual die-cast pasteboard bottle.

1925

In Düsseldorf-Holthausen the Company began to provide technical and craft apprenticeships geared to its own requirements.
Nowadays trained personnel should ideally have technical knowledge, be capable of functioning within a team environment, exhibit flexibility, and be able to act and solve problems independently.

Henkel Kemiskt-Tekniskt Aktiebolag was founded in Stockholm.


1926

Henkel took part in the "Grosse Ausstellung Düsseldorf 1926 für Gesundheitspflege, soziale Fürsorge und Leibesübungen (Gesolei)" [Health Care, Social Welfare and Physical Exercise Exhibition, Düsseldorf, 1926]. The exhibition lasted for around 5 months and attracted 7.5 million visitors. As the only industrial company to participate, Henkel was awarded the "Grosse Reichsmedaille" [Grand Medal of the German Empire]. In 1927, the Henkel pavilion was integrated into the Company's administrative block as the Gesolei building.

1927

Between 1927 and 1932, Henkel made use of new methods of advertising: Talking films, radio, skywriting, the first neon signs and nighttime cloud projections.

Henkel and the Lever Group divided the world into Persil territories. Lever took England and France together with their colonies, leaving the rest of the world to Henkel.

1928

Henkel-Kleister-trocken [dry paste] was launched, followed in 1929 by Mala, a decorator's glue that was soluble in cold water. These two products were of major importance for the competitiveness of Henkel adhesives. The export of adhesives, especially to neighboring European countries, began. From 1929, products were also exported to Australia and South America.

Böhme discovered fundamentally new starting substances with a strong detergent character after researchers succeed in sulfonating fatty alcohols for the first time. DEHYDAG, too, began to synthesize fatty alcohols by the Bouveault-Blanc method and to synthesize fatty alcohol sulfonates. (The reduction of esters with metallic sodium in the presence of an alcohol had been discovered in 1903 by Bouveault and Blanc.)

1929

Inspired by a visit to the USA, Dr. Hugo Henkel started tests on the use of phosphates to clean metal surfaces in 1928. Production of cleaning agents for industrial and craft applications, which were marketed under the brand name Pedrei (P3), started as early as spring in 1929. Surface technologies were to become an important field of business for Henkel.

Henkel launched the household cleaner Imi, which was produced on the same chemical basis.

Kiesin (Kieselin, Kisolit) was developed. This mineral paint binder and flame retardant, which was based on potassium silicate, could be used to impregnate wood with a fire retardant and to provide cement plaster with a durable coating. It subsequently became very important for fire protection and camouflage paint.

1930

On January 4, Dr. h.c. Fritz Henkel jun. died at the age of only 55. He was followed on March 1 by the Company's founder, Kommerzienrat [counselor of commerce] Fritz Henkel sen., aged 81. Dr. Hugo Henkel took over the sole management of the Company.

In Scandinavia, Henkel set up Henkel AS in Oslo and OY Persil AB in Helsinki (renamed Suomen Henkel in 1962). The companies Gebrüder Vöhl, Düsseldorf, and Labor-fac GmbH, Cologne, were taken over. Both companies produced care products for floorcoverings and furniture.


1931

In Düsseldorf-Holthausen an oil factory came on line, producing coconut fatty alcohol by high-pressure hydrogenation. Production of fatty alcohols reached 600 tons in its first year of operation.

The introduction of foreign exchange controls in Germany prompted Henkel to found UMA AG in Chur, Switzerland, as a holding company for Henkel's European equity interests outside Germany.

1932

Böhme in Chemnitz developed the world's first completely synthetic, soap-free detergent: Fewa. This pH-neutral, fiber-preserving, light-duty detergent for wool and soap-sensitive, fine fabrics was launched on the market in 1933.

In Jutphaas near Utrecht, in the Netherlands, Henkel founded Nederlandsche Persil Mij NV. Production of detergents and household cleaners started here on October 24. These products had previously been imported.

Schwarzkopf launched a number of new products: The first hair conditioning preparation for the hairdressing salon; Schaumpon extramild for home use, the first soap-free shampoo; plus Onalkali, the world's first alkali-free shampoo. This was based on DEHYDAG's Texapon extract.

1933

Dr. Jost Henkel (1909 - 1961), the eldest son of Dr. Hugo Henkel, joined the Company. An economist, from 1942 he led Henkel through the Second World War and laid the foundations for its expansion from a detergent company to a large-scale chemicals producer.

The French industrialist M. Nomani founded the Société d'Innovations Chimiques (Sinnova) in Paris. In 1938, it started to produce fatty alcohols in Meaux. Sinnova became part of Henkel in 1974.

In Italy the Società Italiana Persil SpA was founded in Lomazzo near Como. In 1965, it was renamed Henkel Italiana SpA, Milan. In 1985, Henkel Italiana SpA acquired the Società Europea Produzione Adhesivi SpA (SEPA) in Italy.

The "seizure" of power in Germany by the National Socialists also affected Henkel. In March there was interference in the works council election, and in May the works council was "brought into line" and reshuffled.

1934

In Herent, Belgium, a new plant was constructed. In March 1935, the first products left the production site.

In Düsseldorf, Henkel's first factory for dextrin, an alternative raw material for adhesives, became operational.

Schwarzkopf launched Alkacid, the first permanent waving combination, as well as the hair tonic Seborin, which subsequently became a well-known brand.

An agreement came into force between Henkel and the chemisch-pharmazeutischen Handelsgesellschaft mbH (Chemphar), Hamburg, which had been founded in 1933 by Werner Lüps, a grandson of Henkel's founder Fritz Henkel. Under the terms of the agreement, Chemphar handled the sale of Henkel products outside Europe. Chemphar was taken over by Henkel in 1939.

1935

To solve the problem of the shortage of raw materials in the field of fats and oils, Henkel founded the "Erste Deutsche Walfang Gesellschaft mbH" [first German whaling company] in Wesermünde. Only three whaling trips were ever made.

Cellulose was developed as a raw material for the production of adhesives. The new patented raw material was named Carboxymethylcellulose (abbreviated to CMC).


1936

The cellulose derivative Carboxymethylcellulose (CMC) made its market debut as Henkel-Zellkleister Z 5, a paste powder that was soluble in cold water. In 1937, a second cellulose product appeared: Henkel Zelluloseleim [cellulose glue]. These products are regarded as milestones in Henkel's development of adhesives. At the same time the government prohibited the use of grain and potato starch for industrial purposes. As a result, in 1937, Sichel also started to use cellulose.

The Deutsche Fettsäure-Werke GmbH was established, with the involvement of Henkel, in Witten/Ruhr. In Mannheim, Thompson took over Pilo Werk, a producer of shoe polish. Pilo became Thompson's Mannheim branch in 1938.

1937

In Düsseldorf-Holthausen, Henkel built a plant for the fractional distillation of fatty acids and its first microbiological laboratory. From this time onward, the furnaces of the water-glass factory were automatically stoked from mix bunkers.

Henkel applied for a patent for its first quaternary ammonium compound (QAC), for use as a biocidal active substance. The QAC was the result of five years of research. In 1939, a patent application was submitted for Henkel's first phenol derivative, also a biocidal active substance.

In 1937, Henkel owned production companies in twelve European countries: Austria, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden and Switzerland. After the war they were all expropriated or placed under public administration. The shares of Persil Italiana were sold to the Belgian company Solvay.

1938

Under pressure from the National Socialists, Dr. Hugo Henkel became a member of the newly set up Advisory Board and Supervisory Board. The third generation of the Henkel family took over the management of the Company: Werner Lüps was the so-called "Betriebsführer" [managing director], while Dr. Jost Henkel and Carl August Bagel were the general managers. In 1939, Dr. Willy Manchot replaced Bagel, who was in poor health, taking over his tasks as general manager of Henkel & Cie GmbH and Management Board member of Henkel & Cie AG.

The first synthetic resin glues were used for bookbinding. In 1935, Henkel had obtained a pioneer patent for a "Method of producing resinous condensation products."

1939

Just after the outbreak of the Second World War on September 1, the German Government decreed that only standard washing powders should be produced. Persil and Fewa were withdrawn from the market. Henkel's range of more than 200 products had to be drastically pruned and restructured. Two cellulose derivatives were launched as a filler and emulsifier for the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries.

With Pressal, Henkel succeeded in gaining a foothold in the wood processing market, and especially in the furniture industry. Pressal was a completely new type of wood adhesive, based on patented melamine, and was particularly suitable for bonding plywood.

1940

In Berlin, Henkel set up the Papier & Pappe AG. It united a number of Henkel's German paper factories: Inden near Jülich, Westerhüsen near Magdeburg (both acquired in 1922), Monheim (founded in 1925), Süchteln/Viersen in the Rhineland, Tarnowker Mühle near Schneidemühl, and Oberau in Bavaria.

Relatin flakes for detergent production widened the market for cellulose. In 1942, Henkel produced the paste-like cellulose product Rinosil.


1941

DEHYDAG in Rodleben made caprolactam from hexalin. It was subsequently used to produce the polyamide fiber Perlon® (mark of the Warenzeichenverband).

Emmy Lüps, born in 1884 as the youngest child and only daughter of Company founder Fritz Henkel, mother of Werner Lüps and mother-in-law of Reinhold Woeste, died on September 19.

As replacements for the numerous employees who had been called up, 343 foreign civilians and 194 prisoners of war were working in Düsseldorf-Holthausen at the end of the year.

1942

At the end of the year, 435 foreign civilians and 127 prisoners of war were working in Düsseldorf-Holthausen.

Werner Lüps died in a traffic accident. The Management Board appointed Dr. Jost Henkel to the position of "Betriebsführer" (managing director) as his successor.

Henkel research began with the systematic investigation of the skin compatibility of products. For institutional customers, Dixit, the first synthetic detergent for fine and colored fabrics, was launched.

Henkel's long-time trading partner in the Netherlands, E. Ostermann & Co's Handel Mij NV, was incorporated into Nederlandsche Persil Mij NV in Jutphaas.

1943

Bombing attacks on Düsseldorf also hit the Henkel sites. A raid in June set alight, among others, the Relatin line in Düsseldorf-Holthausen. On November 3, all departments of the Thompson facilities went up in flames. After the tenth attack, in 1944, 80 percent of Thompson in Düsseldorf had been destroyed.

Henkel introduced a biotechnological method of obtaining fats from species of Fusarium (fungus); the method had already been patented in 1938. The Company also brought a sulfuric acid factory on line to utilize the waste gases of the water-glass production plant in Düsseldorf.

At the end of the year, 574 foreign civilians and 108 prisoners of war were working in Düsseldorf-Holthausen.

1944

Bombs hit the offices and factories of Schwarzkopf and Chemische Werke Grünau (60 percent destroyed) in Berlin, and those of Matthes & Weber in Duisburg. After three raids in October, production had to be stopped. Henkel in Düsseldorf-Holthausen suffered relatively little damage.

The adhesive plant's production was farmed out to Glogau in Silesia and Riva SA in Mulhouse in Alsace. After the war, Riva continued to use Henkel know-how to produce adhesives and wallcoverings paste and thus contributed to the retention of the adhesive brand names in France. Henkel acquired Riva in 1953.

At the end of the year, 353 foreign civilians and 113 prisoners of war were working in Düsseldorf-Holthausen.

1945

On April 16, American troops occupied Henkel's Düsseldorf site and confiscated one third of it. On June 5, the British military command in Düsseldorf took over from the Americans. From July 20, the British military government gradually granted permission for the production of adhesives, P3 and water-glass by Henkel, and for soaps and detergents as well as shoe polish by Thompson. In February, 1946, Matthes & Weber in Duisburg was given permission to process available raw materials into soda.

On September 20, 1945, five members of the Henkel family and another seven members of the Management Board and the Supervisory Board were interned.

In Hamburg (British occupation zone), Schwarzkopf started a rough-and-ready sort of production. In 1946, additional efforts to rebuild the production structure were started in Wassertrüdingen in Franconia, Bavaria (American zone), where the foundations for a new factory were laid in 1953 and regular production was resumed in 1955.


1946

Henkel placed its Gesolei hall in Düsseldorf-Holthausen at the disposal of the Düsseldorf City Theaters (until 1948). The hall was also made available for daytime use by the newly elected parliament of North Rhine-Westphalia until February 1949.

In July, the Polycolor chemisch-pharmazeutische Gesellschaft mbH (renamed TheraChemie, Ohligs in 1948) was founded in Düsseldorf. In 1948, it launched Polycolor liquid hair colorant. TheraChemie was acquired by Henkel in 1950.

Founding of Société des Produits Chimiques du Sidobre SA in Boussens, France. In 1972, Société d'Innovations Chimiques and Sidobre merged, becoming Produits Chimiques du Sidobre-Sinnova SA (Sid-Sin).
Copydex was founded in England. Initially it produced latex adhesives, and later building chemicals. Copydex became part of Henkel in 1986.

1947

On November 21, the rehabilitated members of the Henkel family returned to the Company, with full restoration of their former rights. The Company's Management and Advisory Boards were reorganized, effective as of December 10.

A list was published of 918 plants in West Germany that were to be dismantled. Henkel was included in this list. Parts of the Düsseldorf oil, glycerine and detergents factories were promptly dismantled. With the help of a massive PR campaign, extending as far as the USA, the planned dismantlement of 70 percent of Henkel's capacity was averted.

Schwarzkopf launched Onaltherma, the first West German cold wave lotion.

Darold Thiem set up a company in the USA, which expanded its division producing sealants for the automotive industry in the early 1960s. In 1996, Henkel acquired the Thiem Automotive Division in Oak Creek near Milwaukee, Wisconsin/USA.

1948

The chemist Dr. Konrad Henkel (1915 - 1999), second son of Dr. Hugo Henkel, joined the Company. From the 1960s onward, he converted the Company from a family business, operating mainly in the German market, into a corporate group with international stature.

Henkel's "oil quarter" in Düsseldorf-Holthausen was extended by new building work for Böhme-Fettchemie and Deutsche Hydrierwerke (DEHYDAG). Both had been expropriated in 1945 by the Russians, becoming state-owned companies, and had relocated their headquarters to Düsseldorf in 1945 (Böhme) and 1948 (DEHYDAG).

1949

The launch of Schauma shampoo by Schwarzkopf marked the start of the most successful German shampoo.

The Grünau chemists developed Lamepon A, a high-quality, biodegradable, industrial detergent and dispersing agent.

The fine-fabric detergent Perwoll and the detergent Lasil were launched. These were the first synthesis-based Henkel detergents. TheraChemie marketed liquid hair bleaches and colorants.

1950

Persil returned, in its former proven quality, enriched with optical brighteners.

Henkel's Adhesin marked the appearance of a new generation of adhesives: Synthetic resin dispersions based on polyvinyl acetate. The first hotmelt adhesives based on synthetic resins were also launched, as well as Oleton, a new type of oil-free binder. Böhme launched the insecticide Paral.

In Spain, Henkel acquired a shareholding in Productos Gota de Ambar SA, Barcelona. The company was later to become Henkel Ibérica SA in 1963. In 1964, a major production facility became operational in Montornés del Vallés near Barcelona. In February, 2000, Hispano Quimica, a specialty chemicals company, was acquired by Cognis.


1951

Pril powder, a household dishwashing detergent, was launched by Böhme.
TheraChemie marketed colorants and bleaches in cream form for the first time.

Henkel founded its first overseas subsidiary: Southern Chemical Manufacturers in Durban, South Africa, in 1964 renamed as Henkel South Africa (Pty) Ltd and today located in Johannesburg. Today, Henkel has six companies in South Africa and also has a presence in Central Africa (Henkel Kenya in Nairobi and Henkel Chemicals East Africa in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania), as well Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria.

1952

The head of the Company, Dr. Hugo Henkel, died suddenly on December 18. He had been active in the Company for 47 years. In January 1, 1953, he was succeeded as chairman of the Advisory Board by Reinhold Woeste.

A license agreement was concluded with Blattmann, Switzerland, allowing Henkel to use the Noredux process to produce refined soluble starches and dextrins. A Methylcellulose plant came on line in Düsseldorf. Henkel bought back its Swiss subsidiaries.

Henkel launched Saptenol, the first grease solvent paste, for institutional customers.

1953

In February production started in the Metylan factory. In Germany, Metylan became the best known umbrella brand for wallcoverings adhesives. Outside Germany, Henkel also sold the product under locally familiar brand names.

Vernon K. Krieble, a chemistry professor of German descent at Trinity College Hartford, Connecticut/USA, discovered a revolutionary anaerobic adhesive. In 1956, he founded a company that subsequently became Loctite Corporation.

In the German and Austrian factories, detergent spray drying by the Welter method replaced the previously used Krause method.
A plant for the production of melamine resin films was constructed in the Düsseldorf adhesives facility, and production of rubber-based adhesives and alginates commenced.
Start of ecological research at Henkel.

1954

The subsidiary Dreiring, in Krefeld, launched Fa soap, a new type of toilet soap made from high-quality vegetable oils and animal fats. From 1970 onward it was joined by a series of Fa deodorants, shower gels and bubble baths, making Fa one of the best known umbrella brands in the toiletry sector.

A new type of rubber-based underseal made Teroson a popular brand name among German motorists.

Böhme Fettchemie granted West European Trading Company of Kobe, Japan, the exclusive right to sell its products in Japan. In 1957, West European Trading Company became Nippon Henkel Chemical. 1969 saw the start of a cooperation agreement with Kokuyo Co Ltd, Osaka, for the purpose of marketing the Pritt glue stick. In 1998, this cooperation resulted in the joint venture Kokuyo Henkel Co Ltd. In 1974, Henkel Hakusui Corporation was founded in Osaka. In 1999, Henkel set up a joint venture, Cemedine Henkel Co Ltd, in Tokyo. This was the start of cooperation in adhesives and sealants for the Japanese automotive industry. In the year 1999 as well, Henkel began to cooperate with Lion Corporation in the detergent, household cleaners and cosmetics and toiletries sectors.

1955

Innovations were launched on the adhesives market: Pattex contact adhesives could be used for a wide range of applications in the craft and household sectors. Pattex became a generic term and an umbrella brand for powerful adhesives. Henkel became the first adhesives producer to introduce hotmelts based on natural resins.

The Henkel adhesives Metallon und Stabilit, based on epoxy resins, enabled extremely stable bonds to be created between hard surfaces such as metal and glass.

Henkel companies in Saarland were merged to create the production company, Unichima SA, headquartered in Paris and located in Chalons sur Marne.

The appearance of the first brand-name hair spray from Schwarzkopf, Taft, "das flüssige Haarnetz" [the liquid hairnet], made trendy, highly back-combed hairstyles possible.

In São Paulo, Henkel do Brasil SA was founded and began DEHYDAG production. In 1966, an adhesives plant came on line there. In 1995, Henkel acquired the adhesives range sold under the Tenaz brand name, the market leader in the office and stationery supplies sector.


1956

German television showed advertising for the first time. The first TV spot was a Persil advert.

Henkel took over all of the shares of Gerhard Collardin GmbH in Schönbach, Hesse. The factory initially made P3 products. In 1998, the company became part of Henkel Surface Technologies.

At the Henkel plant in Düsseldorf a start was made on the construction of a new fatty acid fractionating line and a "rolling-up" plant for separating stearin crystals and oleic acids.

1957

Henkel launched Dixan, the first specialty detergent with retarded foam for drum-type washing machines.

The Poly hair care range from TheraChemie appeared.

By developing Lameprint printing thickener, Grünau gained a foothold in the carbohydrate chemistry sector. In the previous year, Metasal, the first ABC dry powder for fire fighting, was launched.

At Henkel in Düsseldorf-Holthausen, the first central water purification plant for the purification of wastewater became operational.

1958

Henkel Research focused on the systematic study of washing active substances in surface waters. In 1959, a start was made on the development of low-foam surfactants. Henkel was thus prepared for the German Detergents Act, which was passed in 1961 in response to the mountains of foam on rivers and lakes and permitted only readily biodegradable detergents to be used from 1964 onward.

Teroson launched silicone sealants. Over the course of the years, Teroson became an expert in adhesives and sealants for the automotive, housebuilding and window installation sectors.

1959

On January 2, Persil 59 appeared in the shops. This was Henkel's first synthetic heavy-duty detergent. It was largely unaffected by water-hardness and was suitable for all conventional washing methods in use at that time.
Böhme launched Pril liquid dishwashing detergent.

Ponal, the white wood glue, started its successful career. Ponal became an umbrella brand name for a made-to-measure range of products for the furniture industry and joinery trade. Henkel launched Ovalit, an adhesive for heavy wallcoverings. Dreiring Werke launched the soap Ladon and the fine fabric finish Perla. The products Fa, Ladon and Perla were marketed by Henkel from 1961 onward.

Henkel Mexicana SA, Naucalpan de Juárez, Mexico, was founded, expanding Henkel's business in Latin America. In 1964 Henkel participated in a joint venture company in Tlalnepantla, Mexico, which took the name Henkel Onyxmex SA. In 1965, Henkel took over the joint venture company completely, which changed its name to Henkel Mexicana SA in 1971.

1960

By acquiring Standard Chemical Products Inc (known as Henkel Inc from 1971), Henkel entered the USA chemical products market.

Under a license from Lord Corporation, USA, Henkel entered the market for rubber-to-metal bonding agents (brand: Chemosil), used in particular in the production of vibration-damping elements in the automotive engineering and bridge building sectors. Today, this is one of Henkel's fields of special expertise.

Henkel introduced the Silex-Ozonex duplex method for commercial laundries. Schwarzkopf launched the hair colorant Igora Royal for hairdressing salons. Sichel developed cyanoacrylate-based reaction adhesives for industrial production applications. Consumers subsequently became familiar with these adhesives as Pattex-Sekundenkleber [superglue].

In Düsseldorf-Holthausen the first Henkel pilot plant became operational. It was used to test and develop scaled-down production processes.


1961

On July 7, the head of the Company, Dr. Jost Henkel, died suddenly at the age of just 52. On July 1, his younger brother, Dr. Konrad Henkel, succeeded him as Managing Director.

New products included the all-purpose cleaner Dor and Dermasil detergent for thermal laundry disinfection in hospitals.

Schwarzkopf founded Golf Kosmetik. Poly launched the first permanent hair waving foam for home use. Thompson expanded its range of window and WC cleaning products.

1962

Products launched by Henkel included Somat for automatic dishwashers and Miropan-Latex exterior paint.

Henkel acquired Sichel-Werke AG, Hannover, its main German competitor in the adhesives sector.

The building department (set up in 1914) and architectural office (1906) were merged to form the Henkel construction department.

1963

In Düsseldorf the oleochemical works were extended, becoming the biggest fatty alcohol plant in Europe. A major technical change took place in glycerine production: Refining was now carried out mainly by ion exchangers on a synthetic resin basis.

Product innovations included Saptil from Henkel (a detergent dispensed from a tube, for the pretreatment of stubborn stains) and polyurethane sealants from Teroson.

Henkel founded Türk Henkel Sanayi ve Ticaret Ltd in Istanbul/Turkey. In 1965, it acquired a shareholding in Turyag AS in Izmir/Turkey. Iran Henkel AG was founded in Teheran in 1970. In late 1996, Henkel established a presence in Israel and Lebanon by founding in joint ventures.

1964

In view of the importance of the subject, Henkel set up an independent ecology department in Düsseldorf. Priority was given to work on amphoteric surfactants and fully biodegradable surfactants. In 1966, a research project aimed at finding a substitute for phosphate was started.

Henkel achieved a commercial breakthrough in the field of metal-bonding adhesives for car bodies. Saxit tile adhesive and Tangit, an adhesive system for PVC pressure pipes, were launched. Tangit was subsequently expanded into a range of specialty products and became the global market leader in the bonding of plastic pressure piping systems.

1965

The new Persil 65 was launched, containing temperature-dependent foam control, thus making it suitable for drum-type washing machines, which were gaining a dominant market position.

Sidol-Werke Siegel & Co became part of Henkel. From 1966 onward, Thompson and Siegel cooperated with each other. In 1969, they merged to become Thompson-Siegel GmbH.

Chemist Dr. Jürgen Manchot, born 1936, great-grandson of the Company's founder and grandson of Dr. Fritz Henkel jun., joined Henkel.

Developments in hotmelts resulted in EVA hotmelts for packaging, labeling and bookbinding under the Technomelt brand. Ready-to-use filler compounds under the Dufix brand name extended the range of wallcoverings products in do-it-yourself stores.


1966

Henkel broadened its range of detergents: Dato, specialist for all modern white fabrics; Weisser Riese, a flanking brand of heavy-duty detergent with powerful whitening agents, and Rivonit for industrial dishwashers.

Henkel entered a new market sector: Under the Liofol brand name, it launched polyurethane adhesives for film and foil lamination for use mainly as flexible packaging materials in the food sector. Increasing environmental awareness and strict food laws shaped the subsequent development of new Liofol products, around which a flourishing international business grew up.

1967

Kossack-Chemie GmbH with its popular brand Dompfaff was incorporated into Henkel.
The two French companies, Unichima and Riva, merged to create Société Anonyme Henkel France in Paris. This subsequently became Henkel's largest European subsidiary outside Germany.

Henkel launched the light-duty detergent, Fewamat, for automatic washing machines, and Henk-o-mat, prewash detergent for washing machines.

In Düsseldorf-Holthausen the Jost Henkel Training Center with a teaching laboratory and pilot plant was opened. It was followed in 1968 by the Fritz Henkel House for Sales Consultancy, which is also used as a meeting and conference center.

1968

VEB Waschmittelwerk Genthin (bought back in 1990) developed the detergent Spee.
As part of its flanker brand strategy, Henkel marketed the heavy-duty detergent Fakt, containing enzymes, alongside Weisser Riese.

The adhesives range was extended by Macroplast, a solvent-free assembly adhesive, and Stabilit-express, a fast-setting, high-strength adhesive for household use. Thompson entered the indoor plants market with the liquid fertilizer, Flora.

1969

Pritt, the world's first glue stick, made its debut. Over the course of time other products were introduced under this brand, underlining Henkel's importance in the office and stationery supplies sector. Exports of Pritt began in the same year, eventually making this Henkel's most widespread global brand.

Vernel fabric softener and enzyme-based bioactive Persil 70 appeared.

Henkel founded Henkel Khasana GmbH, a sales and marketing company for cosmetic products, and Thomsit Vertriebsgesellschaft mbH, a sales and marketing company for flooring adhesives.

By acquiring the company Franchini Quimica SA in Buenos Aires, Henkel consolidated its presence in Argentina with a company of its own. It was renamed as Henkel Argentina SA.

1970

In April, the first "Düsseldorfer Hygienetage" were held - an international scientific congress for hygiene experts. This congress was staged regularly until 1996.

Henkel entered the hand care market with Creme 21. Dixi, another dishwashing detergent, was launched, as was X-tra, a bioactive heavy duty powder for the pre-wash.

Cordes & Co GmbH, Minden, joined Henkel. The activities of Cordes and Sichel in the field of elastic joint sealants were united under the Sista brand in 1971. Henkel became an international specialist in this field.


1971

Henkel merged the Group companies that were active in the cosmetics and toiletries sector to create Therachemie GmbH Düsseldorf. The company's name was changed to Thera GmbH kosmetische und therapeutische Erzeugnisse in 1974 and to Thera Cosmetic GmbH in 1989. The former Dreiring-Werke in Krefeld was sold to Dalli-Werke Mäurer+Wirtz on January 1, 1997.

More foreign subsidiaries were founded: Henkel Industries Ltd in London; Henkel Hellas SA in Athens; Henkel Chemicals (Canada) Ltd in Montreal; Henkel Chemicals (H.K.) Ltd (Vertriebsgesellschaft) in Hong Kong. They were followed one year later by Henkel Chemicals (Nigeria) Ltd. in Lagos and Henkel Thai Ltd in Bangkok.

1972

In England, Henkel acquired the Gordon Slater Ltd, which it renamed Henkel Chemicals Ltd. Its best known wallcoverings paste brand, Solvite, subsequently became the market leader in Great Britain.

The flooring adhesives business of the Kossack, Sichel and Thompson-Siegel companies were integrated in Henkel Bautechnik under the Thomsit brand. "Verkauf Sichel" [Sichel sales] covered products for the paint sector of the Henkel, Sichel and Cordes companies.

Der General broadened the range of household cleaners.

1973

Research applied for a patent for a phosphate substitute (Sasil) for use in detergents. Teroson set up its own R&D laboratory.

The Persil formulation was changed again. For the first time since 1959 Henkel dropped the combination of the Persil name and the year, allowing greater emphasis to be placed on the brand name.

The range of adhesives and sealants for the automotive industry was extended to include expandable rubber-based sealants and strips (Macroplast brand).

1974

Construction work was carried out in Düsseldorf-Holthausen: The Biological Institutes, as well as pilot plants, laboratories and offices for process technology and chemical process development.

Henkel acquired a shareholding in The Clorox Company, USA, to facilitate the production and sale of certain products developed by Henkel for household and bulk consumers. With the purchase of Produits Chimiques du Sidobre-Sinnova SA in Boussens, France, a second European site for fatty alcohols was opened.

1975

Henkel GmbH became a Kommanditgesellschaft auf Aktien (KGaA) [commercial partnership limited by shares] and the holding company of Henkel, which comprised 70 subsidiaries and affiliated companies. Having the legal form of KGaA, the Company was able to go public in 1985.

Schwarzkopf took over Olivin GmbH with the Bac deodorant brand and the Hâttric men's range.

Henkel expanded overseas. The new Henkel Australia Pty Limited in Sydney was given responsibility for the local marketing of Henkel products. In Guatemala, Quimica Henkel Centroamericana SA was founded in 1974 and serviced the Central American market. In 1976, Inversiones Androca SA in Caracas, Venezuela, became Henkel Venezolana. Also in 1976, Henkel started the joint venture PT Henkel Indonesia and founded a company in Manila, Philippines. Henkel Chemicals (Caribbean) Ltd had already been founded in Kingston, Jamaica, in 1970.


1976

This was the year of the Company's centennial. Henkel donated the Niederheid athletics park and the Art Restoration Center (which opened in 1978) in Düsseldorf. Dr. Konrad Henkel became - like his grandfather Fritz Henkel, in 1928, and his father Dr. Hugo Henkel, in 1951 - an honorary citizen of Düsseldorf.

Mustang, the first 60-degree detergent, was launched, as was, under the Assil brand, one of the first polyurethane assembly foams.

Henkel researchers discovered that the active ingredient HEDP (1-hydroxyethane-1,1-diphosphonic acid) can complex calcium and thus inhibit the formation of tartar.

1977

In the USA, Henkel acquired General Mills Chemicals Inc and its international subsidiaries in Japan, Brazil and Ireland. General Mills Chemicals was the world market leader in natural-sourced vitamin E and the leading manufacturer of copper extraction products, polyamides and epoxy hardeners in the USA.

Prodixan, the first low-phosphate detergent with Sasil, came through trials successfully. Assembly hotmelts for the cable, cable fittings and electrical industries (Macromelt brand) became an important business segment.

1978

The first Düsseldorf Hygiene Prize was awarded in recognition of outstanding scientific work in the field of hygiene. This prize was established to mark Henkel's anniversary in 1976. Until 1996 it was presented at the "Düsseldorf Hygienetage".

With the acquisition of Omnitechnic GmbH Chemische Verbindungstechnik, Munich, anaerobically curing adhesives, which had been discovered in 1953 by Vernon Krieble, the founder of Loctite, were added to the Henkel range.

Grupo Quimico Mexicano was founded in Mexico City.

1979

Thera-med toothpaste in a dispenser opened up the dental care market for Henkel.
After the success of the low-phosphate detergent Prodixan, Weisser Riese with Sasil was also introduced.

A new biological pilot plant and a leather pilot plant became operational In Düsseldorf-Holthausen.

Chemische Fabrik Grünau started to develop specialty environmental protection products that bind environmentally harmful chemicals and oil. The oil-binding agent Neocosal was the first environmental protection product to be labeled as such, as it was able to release water from spilled oil.

1980

In the USA, Henkel acquired Amchem Products Inc and Parker Chemicals (1987), two respected specialists and producers of adhesives and specialty products for the surface treatment of metals with chemicals, thus gaining an entry into the automotive industry. Henkel also acquired Ross Chemical Co in Detroit, Michigan/USA, a producer of adhesives for the do-it-yourself, household and school sectors, as well as Gloy, a well established British adhesives brand.

Dr. Konrad Henkel took over as Chairman of the Supervisory Board and the Shareholders' Committee. Konrad Henkel was the last member of the Henkel family to be President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company. He was succeeded in this position by Dr. Dr. Helmut Sihler.

New water-soluble hotmelts pointed the way forward for recycling.


1981

In 1980, the newly founded joint venture company Henkel Oleochemicals Malaysia (HOM) in Port Kelang, Malaysia, mainly produced oleochemical base chemicals. Henkel had seven companies in Malaysia by the end of 1998. In 1982, Henkel founded Henkel South East Asia Pte Ltd in Singapore.

After the acceptance of the low-phosphate detergents, Prodixan and Weisser Riese, the flagship brand Persil, also switched to Sasil. At the same time the first heavy-duty liquid detergent was launched under the Liz brand, and the first foam tint under the Poly hair cosmetics brand appeared.

1982

The Company presented the first Fritz Henkel Award for Innovation in recognition of outstanding and commercially successful ideas from employees.

The Verband der Chemischen Industrie [German Chemical Industry Association] set up a Transport-Unfall-Informations- und Hilfeleistungssystem (TUIS) [transport accident information and aid system], which also included Henkel's Plant Fire Department in Düsseldorf. The Plant Fire Department advises and supports the official emergency services when transport accidents involving chemicals occurres.

1983

Henkel acquired the Aok facial care range from the company von Heyden GmbH and thus strengthened its position in the cosmetics retail trade.

The first phosphate-free heavy-duty detergent in Germany was launched under the Dixan brand.

Nitrogen oxides are regarded as the main cause of rampant forest die-back. To keep the atmosphere clean, the researchers at Henkel's own power plant in Düsseldorf developed an industrial process that reduced the generation of nitrogen oxides by 75 percent (Herenox process).

Henkel Research developed a metabolites test to demonstrate the biodegradability of surfactants. In 1980 already, Henkel introduced the first in vitro test as a substitute for animal experiments.

1984

Extensive structural alterations and modernization work were carried out on the glycerine factory in Düsseldorf-Holthausen. Among the changes, a triacetin plant for processing glycerine came on line.

By taking over the adhesives business of Monarch/Adams Adhesives Ltd, Henkel became the market leader in Great Britain. All of Henkel's adhesives activities in the UK were reorganized under Henkel Industrial Adhesives in 1988. In addition, Henkel took over the Brichem Group in Slough, producers of chemical cleaning and floor care products.

1985

The Company went public, with Henkel preferred shares being traded on the stock exchange. In this context a worldwide financial statement was published for the first time. In June 1986 the first public Annual General Meeting was held.

In Chile, Henkel took a 28 percent shareholding in Quimica Härting SA (which was renamed as Henkel Chile SA in 1993) and in the USA it acquired a 25 percent shareholding in the Loctite Corporation.

Schwarzkopf became the first western company to acquire a majority shareholding in an Eastern European company (Schwarzkopf Kozmetikai Kft in Budapest, Hungary).

The Konrad Henkel Foundation for the promotion of economics was set up at the University of Düsseldorf.


1986

On January 1, Henkel took over Chemische Fabrik Grünau GmbH. One of the consequences was a strengthening of its food additives business. In Austria, the adhesives activities of Chemie Linz AG, under the Leifa brand, were transferred to Henkel Austria Ges.m.b.H. Henkel also took over the Samson adhesives business of Samuel Jones & Co Ltd in the UK.

In January, Persil phosphate-free was launched in Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland (both end of 1985). In Austria, phosphate-free "green" Persil, which had been introduced in October 1985, already had a market share of 11.4 percent.

To strengthen its position in the construction sector, Henkel acquired the building chemicals business of the Beecham Group London, with major national companies and brands: In France Rubson, in Great Britain Unibond-Copydex Ltd, in Germany Ceresit GmbH, a proven partner to the construction trade since 1905. Ceresit was integrated into Henkel Bautechnik in 1990.

Henkel Research Corporation was established in Santa Rosa, California. In 1991, it was integrated into the then Cognis.

1987

By buying Oxy Process Chemicals Inc, USA, also known as Nopco, Henkel strengthened in particular its coatings & inks business as well as its textile industry activities in North America and Asia. Henkel Colombiana SA was founded in Cali, Columbia.

Schwarzkopf converted all its production lines to CFC-free aerosols and thus took on a pioneering role in Germany.

Henkel published its Corporate Guidelines. They placed environmental protection on the same level as the generation of profits as corporate objectives. A corresponding internal plant agreement followed in 1989.

1988

After the first thaw in political relations between the People's Republic of China and the west, Henkel opened a liaison office in Peking and supported the restoration of a 747-meter-long part of the Great Wall of China. Today, Henkel has more than 15 companies and joint ventures in China.

Henkel sales exceeded ten billion DM for the first time.

After carrying out research of its own since 1984, Henkel acquired additional know-how about alkyl polyglycosides from the Horizon Chemical Division of Staley Continental Inc in the USA. Alkyl polyglycosides have been included in household cleaners and body care products as especially mild washing active raw materials since 1990.

1989

All Pritt products worldwide contained no solvents. All Henkel detergents in Germany were now phosphate-free.

Henkel extended its position in the automotive industry with polyurethane adhesives and adhesive glass-fiber-reinforced epoxy compounds. Packaging-free pressure-sensitive hotmelts were introduced for the nonwovens market.

In the USA, Henkel acquired the Emery Division in Cincinnati, Ohio, from Quantum Chemical Corporation, strengthening its world leadership in oleochemical base materials and its leading technological position in ozonolysis. In addition, Henkel acquired a 12 percent shareholding in Ecolab Inc, one of the world's biggest suppliers of products for institutional and industrial cleaning.

1990

Dr. Konrad Henkel relinquished the chairmanship of the Supervisory Board and Shareholders' Committee to Dipl.-Ing. Albrecht Woeste, a great-grandson of the Company's founder.
Konrad Henkel became Honorary Chairman of Henkel.

The compact detergent Persil supra was launched. Henkel bought back the eastern German plant at Genthin. Spee detergent, which was produced there, was reformulated and positioned as an affordable heavy-duty detergent for the entire German market.

To enable manufacturers of globally marketed soft drinks to supply their products in returnable plastic bottles (PET), Henkel successfully introduced specialty adhesives for labeling PET bottles.

The end of the communist era in Central and Eastern Europe opened up new strategic options for Henkel. Expansion into Russia started with a shareholding in the Chimvolokno detergent plant. This was followed by the establishment of Henkel Bautechnik Polska Sp zoo in Staporków, Poland. Henkel Austria, with its headquarters in Vienna, was given overall control of Henkel's expansion into Central and Eastern Europe.


1991

Teroson in Heidelberg (in existence since 1898) was acquired and integrated into Henkel's Adhesives and Surface Technologies business sectors.

Persil Color, the first detergent for colored fabrics, was launched.

Henkel founded a subsidiary for biotechnologies and environmental technologies under the name Cognis. The Loctite Engineering Center for Europe was set up in Munich-Garching.

Henkel Asia Pacific, Hong Kong, took over the management of the Asia-Pacific region as a holding company.

As one of the first industrial companies worldwide to do so, Henkel endorsed the Business Charter for Sustainable Development of the International Chamber of Commerce.

1992

Prof. Dr. Dr. Helmut Sihler transferred to the Shareholders' Committee and relinquished his position as President and CEO to Dr. Hans-Dietrich Winkhaus.

Alkylpolyglycosides (APGs) - fully biodegradable surfactants based on natural raw materials - were produced for the first time on an industrial scale by the Emery Group in Cincinnati, Ohio. In 1995, Henkel constructed a second APG production line in Düsseldorf-Holthausen.

Henkel Research developed Biocrack for the remediation of oil-contaminated soil.

The Company published the first of its annual environment reports.

1993

Henkel acquired a shareholding in ERA AG in Tosno near St. Petersburg and started to build up its business in Russia and the CIS states, including the Baltic states. ERA produced detergents, household cleaners and cosmetics. From 1999 it also produced adhesives. Business was also expanding briskly in other Eastern European countries. In 1995, The Henkel Austria Group was founded as the umbrella organization for the 17 Henkel companies in Central and Eastern Europe.

Chemicals subsidiary Pulcra in Barcelona, Spain, produced environmentally compatible esterquats as softeners for detergents and cosmetics. The Turkish business association presented Türk Henkel with an award as the most environmentally friendly company. Henkel encouraged consumers to use refill packs for detergents and some adhesives as a means of reducing waste.

1994

The production of Megaperls, a patented, highly concentrated detergent, started in Düsseldorf-Holthausen. Persil Megaperls were launched. Henkel products in this form were quickly introduced in neighboring countries. In 1996, Weisser Riese Megaperls and Spee Megaperls were introduced on the German market.

In addition to technological leadership, Henkel declared ecological leadership to be one of the maxims of its corporate philosophy.

The long-distance transport of detergents and household cleaners was largely transferred from road to rail in 1994 (eco-logistics).

As a consequence of its commitment to the Business Charter for Sustainable Development, Henkel published its global Responsible Care concept. The Company's worldwide mission, principles and strategy were formulated in a brochure.

1995

Henkel acquired the cosmetics company, Hans Schwarzkopf GmbH. After the integration, in 1997 the business sectors brand-name products were assigned to Schwarzkopf & Henkel Cosmetics GmbH, Düsseldorf, and hair salon products to Hans Schwarzkopf GmbH & Co KG (Schwarzkopf Professional), Hamburg, respectively.

By taking over LePage's Ltd, the leading supplier of adhesives for the professional craft and do-it-yourself sectors, Henkel became market leader in these product categories in Canada. In 1996, Henkel acquired Canadian Adhesives Ltd, a producer of joint sealants and assembly adhesives, which was merged with LePage.

Dr. Rudolf Schieber Chemische Fabrik GmbH + Co KG, in Bopfingen, Germany (founded in 1893) was acquired. In 1998, it was merged with Citax Klebetechnik GmbH, which had been founded by Henkel in 1991 and had its headquarters in Heidenau near Dresden, to create Dorus Klebetechnik GmbH & Co KG, a specialist company with a complete range of products for the wood processing industry. In 2000, Henkel's biggest hotmelt production plant worldwide, which is also the most advanced in Europe, came on line there.

From Pelikan Holding AG, Henkel took over the production, further development and marketing rights - for countries outside the German speaking area - of the roller method of correcting and gluing and, from the year 2000, marking. The Pritt glue roller had been available in several European countries since 1989.
Through the acquisition of the Swiss company, Laesser, a Center of Competence for cigarette adhesives worldwide was created in Zurich.


1996

Henkel started production of a new generation of solvent-free Thomsit floorcovering adhesives, which met the high standards for indoor air quality.

By acquiring United Resins Products, Henkel strengthened its position in the hotmelts field. The additional production sites gave Henkel wider market coverage in the USA. Similar considerations applied to the takeover of Thiem Automotive Division for adhesives and sealants for the automotive industry. Novamax Technologies Corporation of Atlanta, Georgia, a specialist in the treatment of metal surfaces, also became a member of Henkel.

N.B. Love Adhesives, Melbourne, was acquired, the market leader in packaging adhesives in Australia and New Zealand. The company was also one of the foremost suppliers of industrial adhesives in these countries.

1997

Henkel expanded its businesses, especially in the Asia-Pacific region, by participating in various joint ventures, founding new companies and acquiring existing ones. In a joint project with Shanghai Jiao Tong University, the Henkel (China) Investment Co Ltd set up the Jiao Tong Management Training Center in Shanghai.

Henkel acquired all the shares of Loctite Corporation, a major supplier of do-it-yourself and household adhesives and the leading specialist in engineering adhesives worldwide, especially for miniaturization purposes, e.g. chipbonding and microelectronics. With the integration of Loctite, Henkel became the undisputed world market leader in adhesives and improved its sales structure in the USA and worldwide.

Company sales exceeded 20 billion DM.

1998

As a world novelty, Persil Tabs were introduced. The new technology was used for Henkel detergents and other product families. Another world premiere: Poly Re-Nature Creme returned gray hair to its natural color.

In the USA, Henkel acquired a majority shareholding in Manco Inc, Avon, Ohio, considerably strengthening its position in the brand-name adhesives market in North America. Henkel became a leading supplier of consumer adhesives throughout North America. Manco was entrusted with selling and marketing LePage products in the USA.

Henkel acquired DEP Corporation in Los Angeles, California, and entered the hair care market in the USA. The joint venture BioHenk AS in Tromsø, Norway, processed shrimp shells to obtain a new raw material for the cosmetics industry (Chitosan brand).

1999

On August 1, Henkel's Chemical Products business sector was carved out and became a legally independent entity under the company name Cognis. All chemicals subsidiaries of Henkel were united in the holding company Cognis BV in Roermond, Netherlands. The new company's headquarters were also located there. The former Cognis Biotechnologie had already been integrated in Henkel's Central Research.

Dr. Konrad Henkel, Honorary Chairman of Henkel, died on April 24 at the age of 83. More than 6,000 employees and retired employees took leave of him in the reception hall of Henkel's Düsseldorf headquarters.

Henkel took over the French Laboratoires Sérobiologiques Group, a major producer of renewable raw materials for cosmetics. The group was integrated in Cognis.

An analysis of 50 leading chemicals groups by the Hamburg Environmental Institute placed Henkel as number one worldwide in the ecology rankings by a wide margin.

2000

Dr. Ulrich Lehner took over from Dr. Hans-Dietrich Winkhaus as President and CEO of Henkel KGaA. Winkhaus succeeded Prof. Dr. Dr. Helmut Sihler in the Shareholders' Committee.

Diadermine, a European facial care brand, became available in Germany.

As the only one of 50 applicants, Henkel was approved as a supplier of adhesives for the Space Shuttle.

A new venture for Henkel: electronic marketplaces on the Internet. Together with the brand-name product groups SAP Nestlé and Danone, Henkel set up a virtual marketplace for purchasing and participated with BASF, Degussa-Hüls and the Metallgesellschaft in an Internet market for chemical and pharmaceutical products.

Henkel reinforced its position by participating in further joint ventures, setting up new companies and acquiring existing companies in Japan, China and the USA.


2001

In the Company's 125th year, the anniversary motto was:
"125 years.focus:future." Henkel realigned its global businesses along twolines: Brands and Technologies. This strategic redirection was the basis for a series of major decisions.

Cognis, the former Chemical Products business sector, was sold to a consortium of private equity firms. The European joint venture Henkel-Ecolab was dissolved; the strategic equity ownership in Ecolab Inc was maintained.

The Company's redirection is also expressed in a new claim (A Brand like a Friend), a new corporate vision and ten new corporate values. Henkel's corporate design has been recast to reflect this new orientation.

Henkel celebrated its 125th anniversary worldwide, primarily through one program: 125 children's projects supported by employees around the globe received aid of up to 12,500 euros in each case. At corporate headquarters in Düsseldorf, Henkel donated eight million euros for the conservation of Schloss Benrath.

2002

For the first time, Henkel created a standard worldwide image for the group in 2002, using its slogan "Henkel – A Brand like a Friend“ and a new corporate design. Henkel's new identity was backed up by its corporate song "We together", another innovation and composed especially for the group.

In 2002, Henkel acquired

  • Chelgoum Laid detergent production in Algeria through the Henkel ENAD Algeria (HEA) joint venture, 
  • Solyplast S.A., Barcelona, a Spanish manufacturer of adhesives and sealing compounds, 
  • Cemedine U.S.A., Inc., a 100% subsidiary of Cemedine Co., Ltd., Tokyo, Japan and
  • the Sellotape business of Verdoso Holdings Ltd., Dunstable, Bedfordshire, UK.

In August, the US health authorities approved Indermil, Henkel Loctite's tissue adhesive, for the American market. So this adhesive for wound closure is now licensed all over the world.

At the end of September 2002, Henkel opened the "Henkel Loctite Technology Center Asia Pacific" in Yokohama, Japan, built at a cost of 23 million euros. In future, more than 130 employees will ensure that the industrial customers of Henkel Technologies in the Asian region are provided with individually tailored product and system solutions.

During the disastrous flood in Germany, over 80,000 people had to abandon their homes. In an extraordinary collection program, Henkel staff and retirees donated nearly 274,000 euros for flood victims. Henkel added another 300,000 euros.
Henkel provided help in the Czech Republic and Austria too. The Henkel locations in Hungary, Slovakia, Poland and Romania supported the disaster areas in the Czech Republic by sending targeted aid.

2003

Henkel Technologies, the market leader in industrial adhesives, sealants and surface technologies, was restructured as of July 1. In September, Henkel acquired a majority holding in the detergent manufacturer La Luz in Guatemala and has been able to expand its business in Latin America thanks to this joint venture.

In December, Henkel announced its intent to  acquiring The Dial Corporation in Scottsdale, Arizona. This well-established and prestigious manufacturer of detergents and consumer products will enable expansion of Henkel’s brand-name products business in the USA. The acquisition is scheduled to be finalized in April 2004.
Henkel boosted its hair care sector with its planned acquisition of Advanced Research Laboratories (ARL) in California.

In the social field, the results of the MIT Initiative (MIT stands for the German "Miteinander im Team", meaning "Working Together in a Team") were voted very successful on its fifth anniversary in March. Henkel has donated 2,500,000 euros to a total of 1,067 projects in which Henkel employees are involved in a voluntary capacity. In November, Henkel joined the United Nations Global Compact, entering into an undertaking to respect human rights, although values like complying with basic working standards and protecting the environment have long been everyday practice within the Group.

2003 also saw a number of brand anniversaries. The Locitte brand  celebrated its 50th birthday and was pleased to receive the congratulations of Formula 1 Vice-Champion Kimi Räikkönen too. For nine years now, Henkel Technologies has been up among the leaders in Formula 1 with Loctite. Metylan, the wallpaper paste, can also look back on 50 years of history. Today, it is the market leader in Germany and used in 30 countries. Fronted by the German celebrity Verona Feldbusch, the Schauma brand celebrated its centenary with a big charity campaign for an SOS Children's Village in Bolivia. By introducing the first powdered shampoo in 1903, Hans Schwarzkopf soon won the hearts and – of course – the heads of the German nation.

2004

The purchase of The Dial Corporation, Scottsdale, Arizona, is the biggest acquisition in the history of the company to date. This renowned US detergent and  consumer products manufacturer gives Henkel a strong foothold in the North American market. Henkel also acquires the American hair care company Advanced Research Laboratories (ARL), that has developed and marketed innovative, high-quality hair care products for over 20 years.

Further significant acquisitions are the US manufacturer of sound abatement products and automotive body sealants, Orbseal LLC, and the US adhesives company Sovereign Specialty Chemicals. A milestone in corporate history is Henkel’s exchanging of its entire 28.8 percent stake in Clorox (approximately 61.4  million shares) for a newly formed subsidiary of Clorox that will retain a portfolio of operating businesses, including Soft Scrub® and the insecticide businesses Combat®, Home Mat® and Home Keeper®, plus Clorox’s 20 percent participation in Henkel Ibérica and approximately 2.1 billion USD in cash.

With the completion of all acquisitions made in 2004, Henkel will now generate about 25 percent of its sales in the USA.

Fa, in 1954 the first luxury soap to combine cleansing and skin care with exotic fragrances, celebrated its golden anniversary as a brand in 2004. Today Fa still refreshes people in 146 countries and is thus Henkel’s most international cosmetics brand. This year has also seen the 75th anniversary of Henkel’s oldest industrial brand, P3. A technical industrial cleaner for metal surfaces, P3 is one of the traditional businesses of the Henkel Technologies business sector.

Just how we honor our “Quality from Henkel” promise is shown on www.quality-from-henkel.com, with information and background stories on Henkel products. There for the first time the entire spectrum of online-advice can be called up with a single click.

2005

Three of Henkel’s top executives – Knut Weinke, Dr. Klaus Morwind and Prof. Dr. Uwe Specht – retire from the Board of Management. Kasper Rorsted, previously responsible for the European, Middle East and African business of Hewlett Packard, takes over from Knut Weinke on April 1, assuming responsibility as Executive Vice President for the management sector Human Resources, Logistics, Information Technologies and Infrastructure Services. Dr. Friedrich Stara succeeds Dr. Klaus Morwind as Executive Vice President of the Laundry & Home Care business sector. Stara has been with Henkel since 1976, his previous post being that of President of Henkel Central Eastern Europe. Prof. Dr. Uwe Specht hands over management of the Cosmetics/Toiletries business sector to Hans Van Bylen. The latter has been working with Henkel since 1984 and was previously responsible for Hair Care Worldwide and Cosmetics Overseas.

Henkel strengthens its electronics business in Asia with a new joint venture in China: effective in November, Henkel acquires a majority holding in Huawei Electronics Co. Ltd., Lianyungang in the Chinese province of Jiangsu. Huawei Electronics is a leading manufacturer of epoxy sealing resins for semiconductors in China.

The Taft range celebrated its 50th anniversary as a brand. In 1955, Schwarzkopf marked the birth of this, Germany’s first hair spray, with the slogan “For a fresh-styled look that lasts and lasts”. Today, Taft is represented in 32 countries around the world by eight product lines and 63 different products.

In the inter-company competition “Success Factor Family 2005“ organized by the Federal Ministry for Family, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth, Henkel receives the accolade of Germany’s most family-friendly corporation. Federal Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder personally hands over the award to Henkel’s Chairman Ulrich Lehner in recognition of the company’s exemplary commitment to solving the problems associated with reconciling work and family.

Appearing for the first time as a sponsor in the NASCAR series, Henkel extends its presence in North America’s top motor racing events. This involvement is intended to increase public awareness of Henkel in North America as the corporate brand behind many well-known brand-name products used by consumers and industry alike.


2006

In its 130th year of business, Henkel proclaimed 2006 the "Year of Innovations". During the course of the year, employees from all over the world came up with more than 80,000 ideas for new brand products or improved formulas and packagings as well as more efficient development and production processes. The innovation campaign will be continued in 2007 and 2008.

Henkel has laid the foundations for the continuing success of its business. With effect from January 1, 2007, the Shareholders' Committee appointed Kasper Rorsted (44), a member of the management team and responsible for human resources/purchasing/information technologies/infrastructure services since April 2005, to the post of Vice-Chairman of the Management Board. Following the 2008 AGM, Rorsted will be appointed Chairman of the Management Board. Prof. Dr. Ulrich Lehner (60),who has been with Henkel since 1981 apart from one short break and who was appointed Chairman of the Management Board in May 2000, will then withdraw from his position in the management team as planned.

Henkel acquired leading US deodorant brands like Right Guard, Soft Dri and Dry Idea, thereby expanding its personal hygiene product range in the US market, and is now one of the country's biggest suppliers of cosmetic products. Building work on the new headquarters of the Henkel Corporation in Scottsdale, Arizona, began in mid-December. From mid-2008, around 800 employees will work in the complex housing around 21,000 square meters of office space and 12,000 square meters for laboratories and technical facilities.

Henkel is also stepping up the expansion of its business activities in China. Construction work on the new headquarters of Henkel Asia-Pacific in Shanghai began in July. Soon, all the corporate units will be working there under one roof.     

The company itself also celebrated a birthday and was 130 years old on September 26. As in previous years, the company birthday took the form of a "Friendship Day" at many locations around the world – complete with "friendly surprises" for employees.

2007

Persil celebrates its 100-year anniversary. Under the motto “Pure into the futurethe time-honored brand commemorates the occasion with specially designed boxes of detergent and innovative bottles of Persil Gel. By the end of July, the Persil Future Ship tours 18 German cities to showcase the exciting world of Persil for visitors. Persil also contributes one million euros to the “Project Futurino” initiative. More than 40,000 children benefit from the generous assistance of Persil.

Henkel bids farewell to outgoing Managing Director Dr. Jochen Krautter, who is leaving the company after more than three decades of dedicated service. The Stuttgart native held 11 different positions over the course of his career at Henkel. Krautter started at Henkel in 1973 as an executive assistant. He was appointed Chief Financial Officer in 2000 and took over management of Henkel Technologies in July 2003, following which he assumed responsibility together with Alois Linder for the new Adhesives Technologies business sector. This new sector was established in early April, when Consumer and Craftsmen Adhesives merged with Henkel Technologies. It is now under the sole control of Alois Linder following Krautter’s resignation.

A traditional dragon dance heralds the official opening of the new headquarters of Henkel Asia-Pacific & China in Shanghai.

Henkel starts the re-launch of all its websites with the international homepage www.henkel.com. The new websites for North America, Germany, the UK & Ireland, Central Eastern Europe, Mexico, the Andes region, Sweden, Finland, Norway and Denmark follow in 2007.

2008

Kasper Rorsted

Effective the end of the Annual General Meeting, Henkel Management AG joined Henkel KGaA as its sole personally liable partner. The company name became Henkel AG & Co. KGaA.

In 2008, two changes in top management occurred. Having reached the internally agreed age of retirement, Prof. Dr. Ulrich Lehner stepped down from his position as Chairman of the Management Board of Henkel KGaA, as planned, on the day of Annual General Meeting. He was succeeded by Kasper Rorsted (b. 1962), a Dane, who holds the position of Chairman of the Management Board of Henkel Management AG. In addition, Alois Linder, Executive Vice President Adhesive Technologies, left the Management Board in June 2008. His successor is Thomas Geitner (b. 1955).

On April 3, 2008, Henkel took over from Akzo Nobel the Adhesives and Electronic Materials businesses previously owned by National Starch. By acquiring these businesses, Henkel substantially further strengthened its leading position in the global adhesives markets, particularly in the industrial segments. The businesses of National Starch and the existing Henkel Adhesive Technologies portfolio excellently complement each other. In November, Henkel sold its stake in Ecolab Inc. in order to finance this transaction.

In 2008, Henkel again launched numerous innovations. The following represent just a small selection.

In the fall of 2008, Henkel expanded its range of household cleaners with its new Terra Activ brand. Terra Activ ensures sparkling cleanliness in the home. Through ingredients that are largely based on renewable raw materials, and the exclusive use of palm kernel oil certificates, Terra Activ promotes protection of the rain forests. The Terra Activ range consists of five products: a hand dishwashing detergent, an all-purpose household cleaner, a toilet cleaner, a bathroom cleaner and a glass cleaner.

Coloriste is Schwarzkopf’s first permanent colorant that gives hair an intensive, radiant color in just 10 minutes. The patent-pending arginine formula improves the efficiency of the coloring pigments, thus minimizing damage to the hair during the coloring process.

Loctite Flex Gel instant adhesive forms high strength bonds between wood, metal, plastic, rubber and leather surfaces and is therefore suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. The product’s flexibility permits repositioning, and is based on microscopic particles of rubber. The fast and reliable repair of durable goods extends their life and conserves resources.


In November, Kasper Rorsted, Chairman of the Management Board of Henkel, presented the three new strategic priorities and the financial targets for 2012:

The three strategic priorities are:

  • Achieve our full business potential
  • Focus more on our customers
  • Strengthen our global team

And Henkel’s financial targets for 2012 are: 

  • Average organic sales growth of 3 to 5 percent
  • Adjusted return on sales (EBIT margin) of 14 percent
  • Average growth of more than 10 percent in adjusted earnings per preferred share

In 2008, Henkel also defined corporate sustainability performance targets for 2012:

  • Reduction in energy consumption by another 15 percent per metric ton of output – and in the associated carbon dioxide emissions
  • Reduction in water consumption by another 10 percent per metric ton of output
  • Reduction in waste generation by another 10 percent per metric ton of output
  • Long-term target: zero occupational accidents The interim target for 2012 is a further reduction of 20 percent

In December, 2008, at the first ever German Sustainability Congress, Henkel was recognized as Germany’s “Most Sustainable Brand.” The German Sustainability Award is conferred to companies that combine in an exemplary manner economic success with social responsibility and environmental protection, and apply the principles of sustainable development to grow even further.

2009

2009

It was 111 years ago that the chemist Hans Schwarzkopf ran his small drugstore in Berlin. Today Schwarzkopf – one of the strongest brands of parent-company Henkel – handles with all products in the categories coloration, hair care and styling. Thanks to it’s extraordinary growth over the years, Schwarzkopf belongs to the market leaders. Alongside the retail brands (Schwarzkopf Retail) Schwarzkopf also includes professional products (Schwarzkopf Professional) in its brand portfolio. The company is dedicated to the development of innovative product technology and has up to now over 7,600 patents pending. With a finger on the pulse of innovation, Schwarzkopf has revolutionized the market with technical breakthroughs and innovations.

In 2009, Henkel again launched numerous innovations. The following represent just a small selection. Henkel expanded its range of laundry with its new Persil ActicPower. Persil ActicPower is particularly economical, offering a high yield plus its full laundry power from just 15 degrees Celsius. Available in a small, handy bottle.

Syoss professional hair care at an affordable price. Developed and tested in cooperation with stylists, the formulations offer salon-standard hair beauty on a daily basis and are available in retail stores. The Syoss launch was Europe’s most successful in the hair care sector in 2009.

With Technomelt Supra Cool 130, Henkel has, for the first time, succeeded in reducing the application temperatures for a Supra hotmelt by an average of 40 degree Celsius, down to 130 degree Celsius. Not only does that mean savings of up to 30 percent in energy costs, but also a reduction in adhesive consumption values of between 20 and 35 percent compared to EVA-based hotmelts.

In September 2009: Changes in Henkel Supervisory Board and Shareholders' Committee took place. By handing over the chair of the Henkel Supervisory Board and of the Shareholders' Committee to his successor Dr. Simone Bagel-Trah, Albrecht Woeste completes the transition from the fourth generation of the Henkel family to the fifth The Henkel Shareholders’ Committee elected Dr. Simone Bagel-Trah as its new Chairwoman on September 18. On September 22, Dr. Simone Bagel-Trah was also elected Chair of Henkel’s Supervisory Board. The change at the top of these two oversight bodies had already been announced at the Henkel Annual General Meeting of spring 2008.

2010

Henkel achieved sales of 15,092 million euros and an adjusted operating profit of 1,723 million euros. This was the most successful year in the company’s history. The three business sectors Laundry & Home Care, Cosmetics/Toiletries and Adhesive Technologies achieved record sales and profit levels.

Henkel has defined a new vision: “A global leader in brands and technologies”. And in striving to achieve this goal, everyone at Henkel is guided in their daily activities by five values: customers, people, financial performance, sustainability and family. Participating in around 5,000 workshops, all employees discussed how our vision and values can be effectively implemented within their working environment.


2011

Henkel is introducing a new corporate design across the company in combination with the launch of its new claim “Henkel – Excellence is our Passion”. “Our new claim summarizes what we stand for as a company and with our brands and our people around the world: we strive to be the best in everything we do,” said Kasper Rorsted, Chairman of the Henkel Management Board.

January 1 saw Jan-Dirk Auris and Bruno Piacenza take up their posts on the Henkel Management Board. Auris has assumed responsibility for running the Adhesive Technologies business sector. Piacenza also joined the Board at the start of the year, being due on March 1 responsible for the Laundry & Home Care business sector. Effective October 1, Kathrin Menges was appointed as new member of the Management Board and Executive Vice President Human Resources.

In 2011 Henkel delivers sales and earnings at current record levels with a sales increase of 3.4 percent to 15,605 million euros and an adjusted EBIT margin of 13.0 percent.

In January 2011, Henkel established the Fritz Henkel Foundation. In the future, the foundation will serve as the umbrella for our social engagement. The establishment of the foundation underscores Henkel’s long-term commitment for societal concerns that extend beyond its direct business interests. The mission of the foundation comprises support for volunteer work on the part of our employees, international disaster aid, and corporate and brand engagement.

2012

2012

In March, Henkel presents its new Sustainability Strategy 2030. At the core of this is the goal of achieving more with less and tripling its efficiency. The new sustainability strategy applies to all business sectors and the entire value chain. 

Carsten Knobel formally assumes his responsibilities as Executive Vice President Finance and Purchasing effective July 1, 2012. Carsten Knobel succeeds Lothar Steinebach who retires after more than 30 years with the company. The CFO transition was first announced at the end of 2011.


2011 was another very successful year for Henkel. “Despite major challenges in a volatile economic environment, we fully achieved our ambitious targets – and even overdelivered on some of them. Sales and profits are higher than ever before,” said Henkel CEO Kasper Rorsted. In November, the company presents its new strategy and financial targets for the period up to 2016. The four strategic priorities are: Outperform – Globalize – Simplify – Inspire.

To strengthen the Industrial Adhesives business, Henkel acquires the pressure sensitive adhesives product range from Cytec Industries. The acquisition clearly strengthens Henkel’s position in the area of high-sensitive adhesives as the acquired product range is complementary to Henkel’s well established high-performance PSA business.

2013

In March, Henkel reports another very successful 2012 with record earnings: "2012 was the most successful year for Henkel so far: we achieved excellent results in a highly volatile and competitive market environment and met or exceeded all financial targets,” said Henkel CEO, Kasper Rorsted. “All three Henkel business sectors showed profitable growth with expansion of market shares in their relevant markets. We also delivered on the ambitious financial targets we set in 2008 for the period up to 2012. We have substantially strengthened Henkel’s competitiveness, establishing a strong foundation for our future growth.”

Furthermore, Henkel introduces a new branding approach for its industrial adhesive technologies business. The company’s brand portfolio has grown strongly over the past decades and has enabled Henkel to become the global market leader in adhesives, sealants and functional coatings. To improve the navigation through the brand portfolio, Henkel re-grouped its industrial business for adhesive technologies under five technology cluster brands, each of which will represent a cluster of specific technologies and applications:

  • Henkel’s LOCTITE® is the trusted choice for engineered, high performance adhesive, sealant and coating solutions.
  • Henkel’s BONDERITE® products represent the surface technology solutions that create competitive advantage in the customers’ manufacturing processes.
  • Henkel’s TECHNOMELT® is the leading choice for hot melt adhesives designed for best results in the customers’ applications and production processes.
  • Henkel’s TEROSON® is the driving brand for bonding, sealing, coating and reinforcing in automotive body and vehicle repair & maintenance (VRM) applications.
  • Henkel’s AQUENCE® is the innovative, sustainable water-based adhesive solution.

In September, Henkel opens the world’s largest adhesives factory in Shanghai, China. The new factory, which is also known as the “Dragon Plant” at Henkel, comprises 150,000 square meters of space and is now the central production site for industrial adhesives in China and the Asia-Pacific region. Customers being served by the new adhesives plant include enterprises in the automotive industry and various consumer goods sectors. Annual output is forecast to reach up to 428,000 metric tons of adhesives.


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