GA Trade July-Aug 2014 - page 8

H
eadquartered inWesel,
Germany, the ALTANAGroup
is a true specialty chemicals com-
pany inspiring growth around the
globe. The entire ALTANA team
boasts a strong understanding of the
specialty chemicals business and
what it takes to be successful on a
global scale. There are four major
divisions of ALTANA, each contrib-
uting to the company’s overall
growth across the globe.
BYK is its additives and instruments
section; ECKART produces effect
pigments; ELANTAS develops
electrical insulation andACTEGA
makes coatings and sealants.
For all four business segments, the
overarching company objective is
value creation – in terms of financial
strength and providing value
for customers. It is ALTANA’s belief
that value is created through its
innovation culture. Innovation is
achieved through an above-average
R&D ratio, improving efficiency
and consequence of specialization
and differentiation.
Many of ALTANA’s successes are
directly attributable to the leadership
of Dr. Matthias L. Wolfgruber, the
company’s CEO. Dr. Wolfgruber is
German-born, but U.S.-educated,
with a doctorate in chemistry from
the Technical University of Munich
and a research fellowship fromU.C.
Berkeley. He understands the value
that growth in the United States will
bring to any successful company.
ALTANA’s innovation culture keeps it
at the forefront of specialty chemical
makers. SinceALTANAAGwas
founded in 1977, the company has
expanded sales in innovative specialty
chemicals by a factor ofmore than 70
from the starting level of 24million
euros, and increased theworkforce
from 259 to 5,700. These develop-
ments have been supported by a
number of acquisitions, including 30
in just the last 10 years.
Many of those acquisitions are in the
United States – they are corporate
acquisitions that accelerate ALTA-
NA’s growth and are an integral part
of the corporate strategy.
Growth in theUnited States
The United States is a hugely
important market for ALTANA and
will become evenmore so. In 2013,
business inNorth and SouthAmerica
grew by six percent and eight
percent in the U.S. alone. The
long-term future prospects of the
United States are also strong.
According to a VCI study, an average
chemical industry growth rate of
3.3 percent can be anticipated
through 2030. This puts the U.S.
right at the forefront. Dr. Wolfgruber
has said that the United States “is
experiencing a revival inALTANA’s
target electrical, coatings, inks, and
plastics markets.” Additionally, he
noted that the “U.S. is an innovation
driver. We need to be there.”
Currently, ALTANA operates eight
subsidiaries, 18 production facilities
and 19 laboratories in the United
States. Withmore than 1,000
employees here, the company
generated sales of around 290
C O V E R S T O R Y
DrivingGlobal Innovation
through U.S. Expansion
ALTANAdevelopsandproduceshigh-quality, innovativeproducts in the specialtychemicalsbusiness.
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GermanAmerican Trade July/Aug 2014
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