Clariant AG
Founded1995; 28 years ago (1995)
Area served
Key people
  • Conrad Keijzer (CEO)
  • Bill Collins (CFO)
  • Christian Vang (Business President Care Chemicals and Americas)
  • Angela Cackovich (Business President Adsorbents & Additives and EMEA)
  • Jens Cuntze (Business President Catalysts and APAC
ProductsSpeciality chemicals
RevenueIncrease SFr 5.198 billion (2022)[1]: 2 
Increase SFr 440 million (2021)[1]: 2 
Decrease SFr 373 million (2021)[1]: 2 
Total assetsIncrease SFr 7.04 billion (2021)[1]: 1 
Total equityIncrease SFr 2.54 billion (2021)[1]: 2 
Number of employees
11148 (end 2022)[1]: 75 
  • Care Chemicals
  • Catalysts
  • Adsorbents & Additives

Clariant AG is a Swiss multinational speciality chemicals company, formed in 1995 as a spin-off from Sandoz. The company conducts its business through three business units: care chemicals; catalysts; adsorbents & additives. Headquartered in Muttenz, Switzerland,[2] the public company encompasses 74 subsidiaries in 36 countries (2022). Major manufacturing sites are located in Europe, North America, South America, China, and India. In 2022, sales from continuing operations were 5.198 billion CHF.

European markets accounted for 34%, Asia-Pacific for 29%, North America for 18%, Latin America for 12% and Middle East & Africa for 7% of sales in 2022. EBITDA in 2022 was 810 million CHF.[3] Headquarters are officially in Muttenz, but most central functions are officed in a dedicated corporate center in nearby Pratteln, both near Basel, Switzerland. Clariant's three business units are: Care Chemicals (sales of 2937 million CHF in 2022), Adsorbents & Additives (sales of 1272 million CHF in 2022) and Catalysts (sales of 989 million CHF in 2022).

Business history

The company started in 1995, as a spinoff (IPO) of the chemical operations of Sandoz, which then merged its pharmaceutical business with that of Ciba-Geigy to form Novartis. (Ciba-Geigy also went on to spin out its chemical operations, called Ciba Specialty Chemicals, which was later acquired by BASF.) In 1997, Clariant grew substantially, with the acquisition of the Hoechst speciality chemicals business.[4]

In 2000, Clariant bought British Tar Products (BTP plc), in 2006 Clariant bought Ciba's Masterbatches division, and in 2011 Clariant acquired German speciality chemical company Süd-Chemie. In 2013, Clariant divested its textile chemicals, emulsions and paper specialities businesses to SK Capital. In 2014, Clariant divested its leather services to Stahl Holdings and its detergents & intermediates business to Weylchem of the International Chemical Investors Group. In 2016, Clariant partnered with matchmycolor LLC, a colour know-how company and Konica Minolta Inc, a Japanese technology company to efficiently colour match the polyolefin products easier and faster.[5]

In 2019, Clariant was ranked 126th in the Forbes' list of Americas Best Employers. In 2020, Clariant was ranked 684th in the Forbes list.[6]

In 2020, Clariant completed the sale of its entire Masterbatches business to PolyOne (rebranding to the name Avient in the same year)[7]. Two years later, in 2022, Clariant sold its Pigments business to a consortium of Heubach Group and SK Capital Partners. Clariant reinvested to retain a 20% stake in the new holding company.[8]

In May 2017, Clariant and Huntsman Corporation announced that they would merge, as equals, forming HuntsmanClariant which would be the global leader in specialty chemical production - with the deal valued at $20 billion.[9][10] Clariant shareholders will own 52% of the new entity, with Huntsman shareholders owning the remaining 48% of shares.[11][12]

In October 2017, the merger between Clariant and Huntsman Corporation was halted due to concerns that a two-thirds shareholder approval, required by Swiss law, could not be reached. The all stock transaction would not have found support by White Tale Holdings, which continues to accumulate stocks while opposing the consolidation.[13]

On 25 January 2018, White Tale Holdings, which is a partnership between hedge fund Corvex Management LP and investment group 40 North, ended its hostility and sold 25% of its stake to SABIC despite previous assertions that it was a long term holder. Shares tumbled by as much as 11% on that news, wiping out approximately 1 billion Swiss francs ($1 billion) from the company's market value.[14]

On 23 November 2021, Clariant unveiled a new purpose-led strategy with four dimensions based on its purpose, »Greater chemistry – between people and planet«, accompanied by new financial and non-­financial targets. By 2025, Clariant is targeting to grow its top line with a 4–6 % compound annual growth rate (CAGR) and to increase its EBITDA margin to 19 – 21 %. In addition, Clariant introduces a cash conversion target: The company is planning to reach a free cash flow (FCF) conversion ratio of around 40 % by 2025 – a figure that Clariant defines as cash flow from operations minus capex, divided by EBITDA. Clariant has also set itself science-based climate targets: By 2030, the company plans to reduce its Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 40 % and its Scope 3 (cat. 1) emissions by 14 %. Finally, Clariant aims to be in the top quartile in employee engagement in its industry[15].

On 14 February 2022, Clariant delayed the release of its 2021 annual report and postponed the annual general meeting of shareholders, after saying the company is investigating allegations by internal whistleblowers that staff manipulated accounts to meet financial targets.[16][17] On 27 April 2022, Clariant announced the conclusion of the investigation conducted by independent advisors and external counsel. The results of the investigation had no impact on the sales, cash and cash equivalents figures reported in 2020 and 2021.

Business units and business segments

In 2022, Clariant announced a simplified organizational and leadership structure and reorganized its business in three global business units instead of five, with newly appointed Business Presidents. Clariant combined its existing business unit Catalysts and business line Biofuels & Derivatives into one single business unit called “Catalysts”, Functional Minerals and Additives into “Adsorbents & Additives”, and Industrial and Consumer Specialties and Oil and Mining Services into “Care Chemicals”[18].

The business unit Care Chemicals consists of the business segments Personal & Home Care, Crop Solutions, Industrial Applications, Base Chemicals, Oil Services and Mining Solutions. The business unit Catalysts includes the business segments Propylene, Specialties, Syngas & Fuels, Ethylene, Biofuels & Derivatives and Applied Catalyst Technology. The business unit Adsorbents & Additives comprises the business segments Purification, Foundry & Specialties, and Cargo & Device Protection in the regions EMEA, APAC and Americas on the Adsorbents side, as well as Coatings & Adhesives, Plastics and E-Mobility & Electronics in Additives[19].


Clariant has been included in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) since 2013.[20] Clariant is also a constituent of the DJSI Europe[21] and of the FTSE4Good Index.

Clariant reports in accordance with internationally recognized frameworks. For 16 years, Clariant’s reporting has been based on the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). Since 2013, Clariant has committed to the United Nations Global Compacts and reports annually on its contribution to the 10 principles. Additionally, the company publishes infor­mation on climate risks in line with the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). Clariant also reports in accordance with the guidelines of the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB).

Research & development

As of end-2022, more than 785 of Clariant's 11148 employees were engaged in R&D, mainly at the company's innovation, R&D and technology centers. In 2022, the company spent CHF 160 million, or 3.1% of sales on R&D.


Clariant's innovations have received several awards. In 2022, these achievements include the ACC Sustainable Leadership award, several BSB Innovation Awards, the ICIS Innovation Award, but also the Sustainable Packaging Award for the Personal Care packaging concept »Design4Circularity« that resulted from an industry collaboration with Siegwerk, Borealis, and Beiersdorf[22].

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Clariant Business Report 2022". Clariant. Retrieved 1 August 2021.
  2. ^ "Clariant AG". Bloomberg. Retrieved 19 March 2021.
  3. ^ Clariant Corporate Presentation 2016
  4. ^ "The Commission clears acquisition of Hoechst AG's specialty chemicals business by Clariant AG". European Commission. 12 June 1997. Retrieved 19 March 2021.
  5. ^ "Clariant, matchmycolor, Konica to make colour matching easier, faster". WorldOfChemicals. Oct 24, 2016. Retrieved Oct 25, 2016.
  6. ^ "Clariant". Forbes. Retrieved 25 March 2021.
  7. ^ Basel, Clariant Ltd. "Clariant completes the sale of its Masterbatches business to PolyOne for approx. USD 1.6 billion". Clariant Ltd. Retrieved 2023-04-11.
  8. ^ "Clariant completes sale of its Pigments business". Clariant. Jan 3, 2022.
  9. ^ "Clariant and Huntsman to join in $20 billion deal | Chemical & Engineering News". Archived from the original on 2017-05-22.
  10. ^ "Huntsman, Clariant Agree to Merge, Creating $14 Billion Chemicals Giant". Wall Street Journal. 22 May 2017.
  11. ^ "Clariant and Huntsman to Combine in Merger of Equals".
  12. ^ "Become an FT subscriber to read | Financial Times".
  13. ^ Huntsman and Clariant Halt Chemicals Merger, Citing Investor Revolt. The New York Times. (DealBook). Retrieved 27 October 2017.
  14. ^ C. Hughes (Jan 2018). White Tale High-Tails It Bloomberg Gadfly. Retrieved 3 April 2018.
  15. ^ "A Purpose-Led Strategy". Retrieved 2023-04-11.
  16. ^ "Clariant delays publication of Fourth Quarter / Full Year 2021 results". Clariant. Feb 14, 2022.
  17. ^ "Clariant Reveals Possible Accounting Fraud; Shares Plunge". Reuters. Feb 14, 2022.
  18. ^ Basel, Clariant Ltd. "Clariant announces simplified organizational and leadership structure". Clariant Ltd. Retrieved 2023-04-11.
  19. ^ Basel, Clariant Ltd. "Company". Clariant Ltd. Retrieved 2023-04-11.
  20. ^ "Clariant achieves best-in-class rankings in 2017 Dow Jones Sustainability Index". Bioplastics Magazine. 7 September 2017. Retrieved 27 March 2021.
  21. ^ "Clariant listed in Dow Jones Sustainability Index for eighth consecutive year". Risi. 16 November 2020. Retrieved 27 March 2021.
  22. ^ "Contributing to the SDGs". Retrieved 2023-04-11.