A brief look at our heritage

Find out how we’ve been changing the world since 1646 and how Alfred Nobel became one of our founding fathers.

  • 1646

    Bofors forge founded

    Our origins can be traced all the way back to a foundry established in the Swedish countryside by Paul Hossman.

  • 1792

    Sikkens business started

    In the late 18th century, Wiert Willem Sikkens opened a small paint and varnish works in a gatehouse in the city wall of Groningen.

  • 1852

    Illustrious beginnings for Eka

    Alfred Nobel funded the setting up of a company which went on to become Eka, now part of our Specialty Chemicals business.

  • 1904

    International enjoysearly success

    The Holzapfel brothers built a new factory in Felling, UK, to produce their increasingly successful International marine antifouling paint.

  • 1933

    Discovery ofpolythene

    A laboratory accident led ICI scientists to discover polythene, the very first plastic. Akzo Nobel acquired ICI in 2008.

  • 1953

    Dulux leads DIY revolution

    Dulux was launched onto the retail market and ten years later an Old English sheepdog was used in the brand’s adverts for the first time.

  • 1994

    Akzo joins forces with Nobel

    Nobel Industries was acquired by Akzo to create Akzo Nobel. Four years later, the company also acquired Courtaulds in the UK.

  • 2010

    Production starts in Ningbo

    The Ningbo multi-site in China was officially opened. To date, more than €400 million has been invested in the location.