Trading divisions

  • What we do

    The Specialty Products division provides high value functional additives to the architectural and industrial coatings, personal care and oilfield drilling markets that improve the flow characteristics and performance of our customers’ products or production processes. The business has a significant presence in the science of rheology, which in its simplest form means our technology imparts thickness and viscosity control. For example, paint without rheological additives would have the consistency of water, but paint with our additives is smooth, homogeneous and has a controlled, even spread on a surface. The same requirements for rheological additives exist in personal care products, such as creams and lotions, and in oil and gas drilling applications, providing the viscosity required to extract material during the drilling process.

    In addition to rheology additives, the business provides a comprehensive specialty additives portfolio to customers, including defoamers, colorants and tinting systems, waxes, and surface active additives for the coatings, construction, personal care, ink, oilfield drilling and lubrication markets.

  • Key facts


    We employ c. 1,200 people


    We are located at over 30 locations worldwide


    We have 14 manufacturing locations in the North and South America, Europe and Asia Pacific


    2017 revenue

  • Key strengths

    The Specialty Products business provides an ideal growth platform with its balanced geographical exposure across mature and emerging economies, strong technology base and strategic market diversification. The business has a significant technical service and application support presence in all its markets, which has been built on long-term relationships of trust, collaboration and technical expertise. The business’s differentiated technology innovation is supported by ‘best in class’ process technology and tightly held manufacturing know how.

    We own and operate a hectorite mine that is the world’s only known source of hectorite clay, which owing to its properties makes it a premium raw material used in some of our products.

  • Key products

    • Rheological additives and modifiers
    • High performance dispersing agents
    • Flow and levelling additives
    • Other specialty additives and resins
    • Organoclays and colourants
    • Defoamers and coalescing agents
    • Wetting and slip agents
    • Lanolin and other natural oil derivatives
  • Key sectors

    • Architectural coatings: homes, offices and similar environments
    • Industrial coatings: protective applications in automotive, containers, furniture, flooring, marine, plastics and construction
    • Oilfield: drilling fluids utilised in oil and gas exploration activities
    • Construction: concrete, plasters, mortars, renderings, stuccos, flooring systems and building adhesives
    • Personal care: antiperspirants, nail enamels, mascara, make-up, eye shadow, lipsticks, creams, lotions and suncare products