Imperial Chemical Industries

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Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI) was a British chemical company, taken over by AkzoNobel, a Dutch conglomerate, one of the largest chemical producers in the world. It produced paints and speciality products (including ingredients for foods, specialty polymers, electronic materials, fragrances and flavours). It employed around 29,000 people and had a turnover of just over £4.8 billion in 2006. The company was independent from 1926 to 2008, headquartered for most of that time in Millbank, London, and was a constituent of the FT30 Index and FTSE 100 Index. After the January 2008 change of ownership, AkzoNobel fully integrated ICI's operations. [1][2][3]



Development of the business

The Company was founded in December 1926 by way of the merger of four companies — Brunner Mond, Nobel Explosives, the United Alkali Company, and British Dyestuffs Corporation.[4] It established its Head Office at Millbank in London in 1928.[4]

Competing with DuPont and IG Farben, the new company produced chemicals, explosives, fertilisers, insecticides, dyestuffs, non-ferrous metals, and paints.[4] In its first year turnover was £27m.[4]

In the 1920s and '30s the Company played a key role in the development of new chemical products, including the dyestuff phthalocyanine (1929), the acrylic plastic Perspex (1932),[4] Dulux paints (1932, co-developed with DuPont),[4] polyethylene (1937)[4] and Polyethylene terephthalate fibre known as Terylene (1941).[4]

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