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Who is Clariant?

Let's have a look at who Clariant is. The complete history and all you need to know about Clariant.

History of Clariant


Sandoz AG was a Swiss pharmaceutical company. The chemical division of Sandoz AG was spinned off to form a new specialty chemical company called Clariant. The pharmaceutical arm of Sandoz merged with Ciba-Geigy to form Novartis.

Clariant’s focus was on care chemicals, catalysis, natural resources and plastics & coatings.

In the following years, Clariant acquired and sold many businesses.


A phase of internal restructuring starts at Clariant. The four divisions are separated into eleven Business Units. Small and unprofitable locations are closed, and the company moves to a new HQ.


From its beginning, Clariant is growing mainly through acquisitions. Time has come for a change.

Clariant makes a move in the direction of innovation and sustainability by investing €100 million into an Innovation center and by opening a pilot plant to produce bioethanol from agricultural residues.


1100 employees are hired to work in Clariant’s R&D.


Clariant opens a cosmetic business unit in France. Their focus is on expanding Clariant’s portfolio of naturally sourced ingredients.

Clariant and Huntsman Corporation announced they would merge to form HuntsmanClariant

It would have been the largest company in specialty chemical production. The deal was valued at $20 billion. Clariant shareholders would own 52%  and Huntsman shareholders 48% of the new entity.

However, a 2/3 shareholder approval was required by Swiss Law. Shareholder “White Tale Holdings” opposed the deal.


White Tale Holdings finally sold their 24.99% to Saudi Basics Industries Corporation (SABIC).

Sabic and Clariant sign a long-term strategic partnership to collaborate on high-performance materials.

Shortly after, Clariant launches a first large-scale bioethanol production plant in Romania producing 50,000 tons of cellulosic ethanol per year.


Due to unfavourable market conditions, Clariant and SABIC decide to suspend negotiations regarding their joint-venture in High Performance Materials.

Their new CEO resigns after nine months only.

Clariant sells its Healthcare Packaging business.


Clariant is hit by crisis and announce that their 2019 profits fell by 90% and 600 employees will be fired.

Clariant’s CFO resigns

Sustainable Portfolios & Bioplastics


  • Goal: Clariant’s aim to be the global leading company for specialty chemicals
  • HQ: Muttenz (Switzerland)
  • Revenue: 6.623 billion CHF(€6.2 Bln) in 2018
  • Number of employees: 8.700 in 1995 –  17.901 in 2018


Clariant inherited assets from Sandoz and has grown through acquisitions but it seems as if they can’t grow by themselves, they’re not finding their rhythm. They haven’t been convincing. They haven’t written their own story yet.

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