Crompton Corporation History

One American Lane
Greenwich, Connecticut 06831-2559

Telephone: (203) 552-2000
Fax: (203) 552-2870

Public Company
Incorporated: 1999 as CK Witco Corporation
Employees: 8,612
Sales: $3.1 billion (1999)
Stock Exchanges: New York
Ticker Symbol: CK
NAIC: 325132 Synthetic Organic Dye and Pigment Manufacturing; 325199 All Other Basic Organic Chemical Manufacturing; 325212 Synthetic Rubber Manufacturing; 325320 Pesticide and Other Agricultural Chemical Manufacturing; 325998 All Other Miscellaneous Chemical Product and Preparation Manufacturing; 333298 All Other Industrial Machinery Manufacturing

Company Perspectives:

With the merger of Crompton & Knowles and Witco, we have created a new global force in the chemical industry, a company with world-class product lines and service capabilities in polymer products and specialty chemicals. The superior service, technology and performance of our individual business units provide our customers with the tools to excel in their markets. As a result of the merger, our businesses have new products and services, new talent and knowledge, and new product development and production capability. The customer-focused cultures of both companies have been combined into a market-driven enterprise. Key Dates:

Key Dates:

Two loom manufacturers merge to form Crompton & Knowles Loom Works.
Crompton & Knowles Loom Works is incorporated.
Wishnick-Tumpeer Chemical Company is founded as a chemical distributing concern.
Wishnick is renamed Wishnick-Tumpeer Incorporated.
Wishnick acquires its first overseas operation.
Wishnick builds its first manufacturing plant, in Chicago.
Wishnick is renamed Witco Chemical Incorporated.
Crompton & Knowles acquires Althouse Chemical Company, expanding into the dye and chemical business.
Crompton & Knowles Loom Works is renamed Crompton & Knowles Corporation (C & K).
Witco goes public.
C & K acquires Bates Chemical Company, maker of flavors, food colorings, and fragrances; Witco acquires Sonneborn Chemical and Refining Corporation.
C & K acquires Davis-Standard Company, maker of plastic processing machinery.
Witco purchases Argus Chemical Corporation, maker of polyvinyl chloride additives.
C & K establishes its first European subsidiary, in Belgium.
C & K purchases Ciba Chemical & Dyestuff Company.
C & K acquires dye business of Du Pont.
C & K acquires American Flavor & Fragrance Company.
C & K exits loom manufacturing.
Witco drops 'Chemical' from its name.
Witco acquires Industrial Chemicals and Natural Substances divisions of Schering AG.
C & K acquires Uniroyal Chemical Corporation; Witco initiates a major restructuring.
C & K and Witco merge to form CK Witco Corporation.
Company changes its name to Crompton Corporation.

Company History:

Further Reading:

  • 'An Acquiring Lifestyle,' Forbes, July 19, 1993, p. 230.
  • 'Bright Acid Dyes,' Textile World, March, 1992, p. 64.
  • Brown, Alan S., The Witco Story: Hard Work and Integrity, Lyme, Conn.: Greenwich Publishing, 1995.
  • Brown, Robert, 'Executive Q & A: Gary Cook,' Chemical Market Reporter, March 8, 1999, p. 20.
  • 'C & K Operation Net Up 21% in Quarter,' Daily News Record, January 29, 1993, p. 10.
  • Chang, Joseph, 'C & K and Witco Combination to Create $3.2 Billion Entity,' Chemical Market Reporter, June 7, 1999, pp. 1, 19.
  • 'Crompton & Knowles Corp.,' Wall Street Journal, December 16, 1992, p. C11.
  • 'Crompton & Knowles Corp. to Purchase a Unit of Imperial Chemical Industries PLC,' Wall Street Journal, May 11, 1992, p. B3.
  • Fink, Ronald, 'Pass the Rolaids: The Chemical Businesses Witco Has Acquired Will Sharpen Its Focus and Broaden Its Reach--If They Aren't Too Much to Digest,' Financial World, June 22, 1993, pp. 54--55.
  • Freedman, William, 'Witco Absorbs OSi,' Chemical Week, September 20, 1995, p. 8.
  • Gain, Bruce, 'Cook's Recipe for a Trimmer Witco,' Chemical Week, December 10, 1997, p. 34.
  • Henry, Brian, 'C & K and Uniroyal Sign Merger Deal,' Chemical Marketing Reporter, May 6, 1996, pp. 3, 40.
  • Hunter, David, 'Witco's $5-Billion Ambitions,' Chemical Week, June 26, 1996, p. 12.
  • Labate, John, 'Crompton & Knowles,' Fortune, July 12, 1993, p. 100.
  • Lerner, Ivan, 'Crompton Moves to Sell Off Its Industrial Specialties Unit,' Chemical Market Reporter, May 29, 2000, pp. 1, 21.
  • Lipin, Steven, 'Crompton to Purchase Uniroyal for Stock Valued at $363 Million,' Wall Street Journal, May 2, 1996, p. B4.
  • Lipin, Steven, and Susan Warren, 'Crompton & Knowles and Witco to Merge in $1 Billion Stock Deal,' Wall Street Journal, June 1, 1999, p. A4.
  • McCarthy, Joseph L., 'Better Living Through Chemistry,' Chief Executive, April 1996, p. 25.
  • Mitchell, Gordon, 'The Right Chemistry: It's Now the Main Line for Crompton & Knowles,' Barron's, January 30, 194, pp. 43+.
  • Morris, Kathleen, 'Crompton & Knowles: Playing the Niches in Slumping Markets,' Financial World, November 12, 1991, p. 16.
  • Plishner, Emily S., 'Crompton & Knowles: The Pessimism Could Also Fade,' Financial World, November 7, 1995, p. 20.
  • ------, 'Passing the Baton: Bill Toller Has Transformed Witco into a Growing Specialty Chemical Company. Who's Next?,' Financial World, November 21, 1995, pp. 52--53.
  • Protzman, Ferdinand, 'Witco's Move in Europe Grows into Better-Than-Expected Fit,' New York Times, November 16, 1993, p. C6.
  • Reingold, Jennifer, 'Niche Rich: Crompton & Knowles Hunts for Treasure in Staid Markets--and Strikes Gold,' Financial World, June 22, 1993, p. 56.
  • Scheraga, Dan, 'Witco and C & K Merger Draws Industry Praise,' Chemical Market Reporter, June 7, 1999, pp. 1, 23.
  • Stringer, Judy, 'Managing Change at Witco,' Chemical Week, June 7, 1995, pp. 44--45.
  • Tinsley, John F., Looms for the World: Crompton & Knowles in Textile Machinery Manufacture, Since 1837, New York: Newcomen Society in North America, 1949.
  • Walsh, Kerri, 'Yorkshire Takes Textile Dyes Off CK Witco's Hands,' Chemical Week, December 8, 1999, p. 18.
  • Warren, J. Robert, 'Witco Has Bold Asian Goals,' Chemical Marketing Reporter, April 17, 1995, pp. 7, 20.
  • Wishnick, William, The Witco Story, New York: Newcomen Society in North America, 1976.
  • 'Witco Opts for Asset Focus to Carry Out Streamlining Plan,' Chemical Marketing Reporter, February 24, 1997, pp. 8, 27.
  • Wood, Andrew, 'Trimming Down into One Witco,' Chemical Week, March 5, 1997, p. 45.
  • Wood, Andrew, and Kerri Walsh, 'Crompton Cleans Up: Winning Back Witco Customers,' Chemical Week, June 14, 2000, pp. 24--26.

Source: International Directory of Company Histories, Vol. 36. St. James Press, 2001.