AkzoNobel, is a Dutch multinational, with company roots stretching back to the 17th century. Today it produces decorative paints, performance coatings and specialty chemicals. From its headquarters in Amsterdam, the company has activities in more than 80 countries, and employs approximately 50,000 people. Sales in 2013 were €14.6 billion with a profit of €724 million.


BASF SE is the world’s largest chemical company and is headquartered in Ludwigshafen, Germany. Its portfolio ranges from chemicals, plastics, performance products and crop protection products to oil and gas. At the end of 2013, the company employed more than 112,000 people, with over 52,500 in Germany alone.

Dow Chemical

Michigan-based Dow Chemical is the world’s third largest chemical company (by market capitalization) in the world. Founded in 1897, the company manufactures a range of chemicals for a diverse range of industries and has a market presence in 160 countries worldwide.


Founded in 1902 as the state coal mining company, DSM first diversified into the chemicals industry through producing fertilisers, before phasing out mining entirely by 1965. The company now has an employee base of around 24,000 people spread over five continents and total assets worth in excess of €12 billion (2013).

Du Pont

E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company, usually known as DuPont, is an American chemical company, with headquarters in Wilmington, Delaware. Founded in July 1802 as a gunpowder mill by Éleuthère Irénée du Pont. DuPont, it is now among the world's largest chemical companies, with approximately 70,000 employees and revenue of about $34 billion.


Established in 1891 as an American subsidiary of the German company, Merck became an independent company in 1917 and has outgrown its former parent company to become one of the largest producers of pharmaceutical products in the world. It now has more than 75,000 employees and had revenue in excess of $48 billion in 2011.


Founded by Ernest Solvay in 1863, the Brussels-based chemicals company operates in a number of markets including Agriculture, Construction, Aeronautics and Energy. Solvay now has around 30,000 employees and had revenues of nearly $10 billion in 2013.