After nearly 70 years in business, SEPPIC has diversified its business activities and continuously innovated to become the company that it is today. From its founding principle to products that are now global benchmarks, our story is one of constant evolution.
Where it all began: the story of an entrepreneurial chemist
In 1943, André Bondouy, a trained chemist, created the SEPPIC company. He set off for the United States and persuaded Du Pont de Nemours, one of the largest American chemical groups, to entrust him with the exclusive sale of its products in France. Between 1946 and 1972, SEPPIC’s growth was fueled primarily by the distribution of Du Pont de Nemours products, along with that of several other manufacturers.
At the same time, SEPPIC formed in 1955 its first production site in Cernay (Alsace, France), notable for the manufacture of pigments for BIC ballpoint pens. At that time, SEPPIC was part of the Chargeurs Réunis financial group.
From distribution to manufacturing
After making a name for itself as a distributor for 30 years, SEPPIC decided to focus more heavily on manufacturing: a major turning point. At that time, SEPPIC held many distribution sites in France's major cities and had over 850 employees.
Thus, SEPPIC acquired 1972 the Société des Produits Chimiques de la Montagne Noire in Castres, and created its MONTANE/MONTANOX product line of emulsifiers, designed for the cosmetics, pharmaceutical and industrial markets.
SEPPIC did not, however, give up its distribution business, and in 1974 it began distributing pharmaceutical excipients produced by the Japanese chemist Shin-Etsu. In parallel, the company also developed its health business and created MONTANIDE, an immunologic adjuvant for vaccines, and manufactured its first product line of pharmaceutical tablet coatings in 1981.
Expanding SEPPIC expertise
SEPPIC continued to grow and steadily develop its areas of expertise. To further expand and consolidate its R&D activities, SEPPIC created in 1986 the Castres research laboratory thereby bringing all of its researchers together under one roof.
In that same year, SEPPIC became a wholly owned subsidiary of the Air Liquide Group, benefiting from the quality and scope of its commercial network and its innovative spirit.
In 1995, SEPPIC again broadened its areas of business, this time to include the organic sector: the company launched its first range of cosmetic active ingredients of vegetable origin (LIPACIDES and SEPICALM).
Innovation: SEPPIC’s driving force
In the 1990s, two major innovations accelerated SEPPIC's international development. SEPIGEL 305, the first ready-to-use liquid polymeric thickener, effective across a wide pH range, quickly became a leading product in cosmetic formulation. At the same time, SEPPIC created MONTANOV, the first product line of green emulsifiers.
SEPPIC established its first international affiliate in 1989: SEPPIC Inc., set up in Fairfield, New Jersey (United States). This will be followed by SEPPIC Shanghai (China) in 1996 and SEPPIC Italy (Milan) in 1998. In 2003, SEPPIC opened SEPPIC GmBH in Germany and in 2007, its first production site in Asia: the SSCS plant (SEPPIC Shanghai Chemical Specialities Co. Ltd.) near Shanghai, China, producing vaccine adjuvants for veterinary use. At the end of 2008, SEPPIC opened its Columbia office in Bogota, followed in 2009 by new production sites in Sao Paulo, Brazil (SEPPIC Brazil, a group affiliate), India and Singapore. In 2010, SEPPIC expanded its commercial activities into Poland, Japan and Dubai.
Asserting leadership in Health and Beauty
From 2000 and driven by the success of the MONTANOX and SIMULSOL product lines, the company now produces a wide range of new multi-purpose alkoxylated derivatives.
Today SEPPIC is focusing on the heart of its core business: specialty ingredients for the health and beauty markets. Through the development of new skills and technologies, the company is building on its leading position and deepening its expertise in these sectors.
In January 2013, SEPPIC acquired BiotechMarine, one of the world’s leading producers of personal care ingredients derived from alage and marine biotechnologies.