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.
In 1955, SEPPIC formed 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
When Du Pont de Nemours took back the distribution of their products in France, SEPPIC decided to focus more heavily on manufacturing. After making a name for itself as a distributor for 30 years, this was a major turning point. At that time, SEPPIC held many distribution sites in France's major cities and had over 850 employees.
In 1972, on the initiative of Jean Martineau (then president of the Chamber of Commerce in Paris), SEPPIC acquired 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
In the 1980s, SEPPIC continued to grow and steadily develop its areas of expertise. To further expand and consolidate its R&D activities, SEPPIC created the Castres research laboratory thereby bringing all of its researchers together under one roof.
In 1986, 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
SEPPIC established its first international affiliate in 1989: SEPPIC Inc., set up in Fairfield, New Jersey (United States). SEPPIC UK Ltd, based in Hounslow (United Kingdom), opened in 1995 with SEPPIC Shanghai (China) and SEPPIC Italy (Milan) opening in 1996 and 1998 respectively. This rapid international expansion was driven by the quality of its patented products and its affiliation with the Air Liquide Group, which was already well known worldwide.
In 2003, SEPPIC began a second phase of international expansion when it opened SEPPIC GmBH in Germany. In 2007, the company opened 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.
From 2000 to the present day: building on strengths
On top of its international growth, the beginning of the new millennium has been defined by the bolstering of production activities. In 2000, SEPPIC began production on the Anvers site (Belgium), focusing on alkoxylation. 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: 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.