Synthomer plc
HeadquartersLondon, England
Key people
Neil Johnson (Chairman)
Calum MacLean (CEO)
Revenue£1,459.1 million (2019)[1]
£125.8 million (2019)[1]
£85.6 million (2019)[1]
Number of employees
2,900 (2019)[2]

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


The company traces its roots back to 1863, when Andrew Yule founded a trading house known as Andrew Yule & Co. in Calcutta.[3] At the same time Andrew's brother, George Yule, set up George Yule & Co. in London, which acted as British agency arm of Andrew Yule & Co.[4]

When in 1919 Andrew Yule & Co. and George Yule & Co. were sold to the US banking group J.P. Morgan & Co. and its British merchant banking affiliate Morgan Grenfell & Co., both were turned from a partnership into a private limited company.[5] That same year Thomas Catto (1879–1959) was sent to India to take over the management of the firm from Sir David Yule (1858–1928), a nephew of Andrew Yule.[6] David Yule continued to hold the title of Chairman but had no active part in the operations of the business.[6]

In 1920 Thomas Catto and David Yule changed the name of the British purchasing arm of Andrew Yule & Co., George Yule and Company, to Yule, Catto & Company Ltd.[7] Due to increased taxation, the devaluation of the Indian rupee and the abolition of the managing agency system, Yule, Catto & Co decided in 1969 to sell its shareholding in Andrew Yule & Co. to the Indian government.[8]

With the acquisition of Revertex Chemicals in 1980,[7] Thomas Catto's son, Stephen (1923–2001) started to turn Yule Catto & Co. into an international speciality chemicals and building products manufacturer.[9] Since 2007 the group has been transformed from a diversified chemical business to a focussed speciality polymer business. In 2012 the company changed its name to Synthomer on the basis that the majority of its business already traded under that name.[10]

In July 2019, Synthomer announced that it was going to buy OMNOVA Solutions for an enterprise value of $824 million in a bid to strengthen its global position as heard from Reuters.[11] The deal was completed on April 2, 2020.[12]


The company has three activities: polymer chemicals, pharma chemicals and impact chemicals.[3]


  1. ^ a b c "Annual Results 2019" (PDF). Synthomer. Retrieved 5 March 2020.
  2. ^ "Our business". Retrieved 20 March 2019.
  3. ^ a b "Yule Catto - Company Structure Information from ICIS". Retrieved 3 April 2015.
  4. ^ Yule, Catto & Co AIM 25
  5. ^ Jones, p.96
  6. ^ a b "Yule Newsletter - Issue 23". Retrieved 3 April 2015.
  7. ^ a b Jones, p.325
  8. ^ Jones, p. 297
  9. ^ Obituary: Lord Catto Daily Telegraph, 6 September 2001
  10. ^ Interim Management Statement of Yule Catto & Co Plc for the period 1 July to 8 November 2012
  11. ^
  12. ^