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March 26, 2016
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1 Introduction



Altana AG () is a German chemical company based in Wesel. It develops, produces and distributes special products for coatings manufacturers, paint and plastics processing. It has laboratories, manufacturing and sales subsidiaries in more than 15 countries worldwide.

Since 1977, Altana has been listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and was one of the DAX companies until 2007. From 2002 to May 2007, Altana was listed on the New York Stock Exchange under stock symbol AAA as well. In 2008, Altana had 4,791 employees and an annual turnover of ???1.34 billion - down 3% year-on-year. The Altana group consisted of Altana Pharma AG (once the Konstanz-based Byk Gulden ) and Altana Chemie headquartered at Wesel.

Privately-owned pharmaceutical company Nycomed - 41.1% owned by Swedish private equity firm Nordic Capital and 25.1% by Credit Suisse Alternative Investments - in 2006 bought the pharmaceuticals business. That sale was passed by the EU and - as Nycomed - the former Altana division's headquarters shifted to Zurich, Switzerland but much medicines research and manufacturing stayed in Germany, while some production moved to 12 other countries, including Denmark.

After the split became formal on 1 January 2007, the chemicals group was restructured into four divisions: Byk Additives and Instruments, Eckart Effect Pigments, Elantas Electrical Insulation and Actega Coatings and Sealants - manufacturing plastics, pigments for paints, printing supplies and Aquafresh toothpaste. A holding company headed by Susanne Klatten, one of the children of BMW entrepreneur Herbert Quandt, in November 2008 announced that it intended to buy the 49.9% of the Altana chemicals company that she did not already own, as profits for the fourth quarter of 2008 slumped 46% after management cost-cutting failed to keep pace with sagging demand - 'especially in the U.S.', Bloomberg reported in February 2009.

Altana's management board declared a target of cutting specific CO2 emissions by 30% between 2007 and 2020.

Altana consists of four Divisions: Additives and Instruments, Eckart Effect Pigments, Elantas Electrical Insulation, and Actega Coatings and Sealants. The Additives business manufactures chemical additives to improve the quality of paints, coatings, inks, plastics, and other materials. The Instruments Division, BYK-Gardner, manufactures instrumentation to measure color, appearance & surface quality. NASA recently placed several BYK-Gardner spectrophtometers on the International Space Station which are used to measure water quality from the Water Recycling System aboard the station.


  • Company Homepage

  • Company Profile and News Archive

  • BYK Additives

  • BYK-Gardner Instruments

  • Eckart Effect Pigments

  • Elantas Electrical Insulation

  • Actega Coatings and Sealants

  • Nycomed corporate website

  • Recycling is not an option

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Altana".

Last Modified:   2010-11-29

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