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.


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 loosely, 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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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

A vast deposit of borax, nature's magic water softener and cleanser, is discovered in Death Valley, Calif. Soon teams of 20 mules are pulling 12-ton wagons across 165 miles of hot desert to the railroad. Today, Henkel markets it as 20-Mule Team® Borax.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.

The first jug of Purex Bleach, to be followed by a superior phosphate-free laundry detergent, is formulated in the garage of a house in Los Angeles. Today, Purex® is the reigning value detergent and Number 2 brand.

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.


Premiere of the Henkel film "Wäsche - Waschen - Wohlergehen" (Laundry - Washing - Well-being) at the Berliner Ufa-Palast (by 1938 it had been viewed by around 30 million people).

Launch of the world’s first synthetic detergent: Fewa


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.


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


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


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.


In Düsseldorf-Holthausen, Henkel built a plant for the fractional distillation of fatty acids and its first microbiological laboratory.

In 1937, Henkel owned production companies in twelve European countries: Austria, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden and Switzerland.


The third generation of the Henkel family took over the management of the Company: Werner Lüps was the 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."


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.


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.


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.


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


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.

Manco is founded as Melvin A. Anderson Company in Cleveland, Ohio, later to be acquired by Henkel in 1998.


Pril powder, a household dishwashing detergent, was launched by Böhme.

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.


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.


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.

The slogan "Aren't you glad you use Dial? Don't you wish everybody did?" establishes Dial as the nation's leading antibacterial soap.

Start of ecological research at Henkel.


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.


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


German television showed advertising for the first time.

The first TV spot was a Persil commercial.


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


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.


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.

Schwarzkopf launched the hair colorant Igora Royal for hairdressing salons.


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


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


Dial opens the largest, most modern soap making plant in the world on an 11-acre site 38 miles west of Chicago in Montgomery, Ill.

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.

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.


Developments in hotmelts resulted in EVA hotmelts for packaging, labeling and bookbinding under the Technomelt brand.


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 Henkel developed a flourishing international business.


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.


The adhesives range was extended by Macroplast, a solvent-free assembly adhesive.


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.


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


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.


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.


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).


Tone®, the only bath bar containing cocoa butter, is introduced.

Teroson set up its own R&D laboratory.

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


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.


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.

Loctite introduces Super Glue 3 on "the Tonight Show."


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.

The Research & Development Lab, a world-class food and consumer products laboratory, opens in Scottsdale, Ariz., and quickly earns a reputation for innovative research and development. Today, with the addition of Accounting and Information Technology, it's known as DCI (Dial Center for Innovation).


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.

Assembly hotmelts for the cable, cable fittings and electrical industries (Macromelt brand) became an important business segment.


Grupo Quimico Mexicano was founded in Mexico City.


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.


Thera-med toothpaste in a dispenser opened up the dental care market for Henkel.

In January, Henkel Inc, Teaneck, New Jersey, and General Mills Inc merged to form Henkel Corporation, Minneapolis, Minnesota. At the end of the year, Henkel of America Inc was founded in New York as the holding company for the Henkel companies in the USA.


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.

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.

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


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


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.


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 the USA, Henkel acquired a 25 percent shareholding in the Loctite Corporation.

The Purex® household and laundry product lines are purchased by The Dial Corporation.


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

The first public Annual General Meeting was held.


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

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.


Henkel sales exceeded 10 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 since 1990.

Dial buys the exclusive rights to make and sell such home pantry staples as 20-Mule-Team® Borax all-purpose cleaner, Borateem stain remover and Boraxo powdered hand soap. In the White House sits President Ronald Reagan, fondly remembered as the host of "Death Valley Days" once sponsored on TV by Borax.


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.

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.

Liquid Dial antibacterial hand soap pioneers a new category in personal hygiene products. Within 10 weeks of its introduction, germ-fighting Liquid Dial® rings up $1 million in sales.


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.

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.


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

Henkel founded a subsidiary for biotechnologies and environmental technologies under the name Cognis.

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.


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.

The Company published the first of its annual environment reports.


The widely known line of Renuzit® air fresheners is purchased by Dial from S.C. Johnson, then revitalized and expanded to swiftly move from Number 3 to Number 2 in its category.

Foundation of the joint venture Liofol Corporation in Cary, North Carolina (development and distribution of laminating adhesives in North America and Mexico (taken over by Henkel in December 2001).


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

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.


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.

Nature's Accents, a line of premium skin care and soap products, is created by Dial for the company's largest customer, Wal-Mart.

Purex® introduces Baby Soft, a value-priced detergent to launder baby clothes.


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.

Henkel aguires 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.


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.

The Scottsdale campus is created when Dial moves its headquarters from Phoenix to 15501 North Dial Boulevard, across the street from the Dial Center for Innovation.

Acquisition of Diversified Technology Inc, San Antonio, Texas (lubricants for the beverage can industry).


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 Dial company celebrates the 50th anniversary of Dial soap. One million cases of Dial bar soap are sold to Wal-Mart this year - a record "first" for the Company.

Dial establishes a joint venture with Henkel KGaA of Düsseldorf, Germany, to develop and market a range of enhanced laundry products in North America under the Purex brand name.


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.

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.


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.

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.

Dial acquires Zout® stain remover. Zout proves popular with consumers and immediately becomes an important part of the stain remover segment.

Dial acquires Coast soap to join Dial and Tone in the Dial personal cleansing family.

Acquisition of the polymer specialties business of Dexter Corporation, Windsor Locks, Connecticut (high-performance adhesives, especially for the aerospace industry, under the brand name Hysol; integrated into Loctite).

Henkel acquires Power Devices, Inc, Laguna Hills, California (chemical products for heat dissipation in electronic devices).


In the Company's 125th year, the anniversary motto was:
"125 years.focus:future." Henkel realigned its global businesses along two lines: 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.

Dial Complete™ is introduced to the public. The groundbreaking liquid and soap comes from the pump as a foam that needs no water until rinsing.

Henkel Consumer Adhesives introduces Power Grab® Latex Construction Adhesive.


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.

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 the 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.


Henkel Technologies, the market leader in industrial adhesives, sealants and surface technologies, was restructured as of July 1.

In December, Henkel announced its intent to acquire The Dial Corporation in Scottsdale, Arizona. This well-established and prestigious manufacturer of detergents, soaps and consumer products enabled the expansion of Henkel’s brand-name products business in the USA.

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 very successful in its fifth anniversary.

Henkel 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.

The Loctite® brand celebrated its 50th birthday.

Henkel introduced new stick formula Threadlockers, PST Pipe Selants, and Antiseize under the Loctite brand.


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 Combat® insecticide businesses, 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.

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.

The first annual Avon Heritage Duct Tape Festival is held in Avon, Ohio, the Duct Tape Capital of the World.


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.

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.


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.


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 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.


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 percentIn 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.


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.


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.


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 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.


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.


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.


Henkel announces acquisitions

In June 2014, Henkel AG & Co. KGaA signed an agreement with funds advised by BC Partners to acquire all shares in the Spotless Group SAS, Neuilly-sur-Seine, France. The transaction, including debt, is valued at 940 million euros and will be financed in cash. The Spotless Group mainly operates in the areas of laundry aids (laundry sheets, stain removers, fabric dyes), insect control and household care in Western Europe. Among the leading brands of the company are Eau Ecarlate, Dylon, Grey and Catch. In the fiscal year 2013, the company generated sales of about 280 million euros. The Spotless Group holds leading market positions in established European markets such as France, Italy, Spain, Benelux and the UK, and employs about 470 people.

Henkel also signed an agreement with TSG Consumer Partners, San Francisco/USA, to acquire the three US Hair Professional companies SexyHair, Alterna and Kenra for around 270 million euros in cash. These businesses will strengthen the Henkel US Hair Professional portfolio especially in the categories of Care and Styling. The acquisition will position Henkel as one of the leading companies in the world’s single biggest Hair Professional market. In the fiscal year 2013, the acquired companies generated sales of about 140 million euros.

In September 2014, Henkel also signed an agreement to acquire The Bergquist Company, a privately-held leading supplier of thermal-management solutions for the electronics industry worldwide. Bergquist, based in Chanhassen, MN, USA, supplies thermal-management solutions for electronic applications, serving a variety of industries ranging from automotive to consumer and industrial electronics as well as LED lighting, in North America, Asia-Pacific and Europe. In fiscal 2013, Bergquist generated sales of around 130 million euros. The company has about 1,000 employees and six production sites – five in the US and one in China. The acquisition will strengthen the position of Henkel’s Adhesive Technologies business as a global leader.