SGL Carbon

SGL Carbon SE
Societas Europaea
Traded as FWB: SGL
Industry Chemicals
Founded 1992
Headquarters Wiesbaden, Germany
Key people
Robert J. Koehler (CEO and chairman of the management board), Max Dietrich Kley (Chairman of the supervisory board)
Products Graphite and carbon electrodes, other graphite materials and systems, carbon fibres and composites
Revenue €1.382 billion (2010)[1]
€128.4 million (2010)[1]
Profit €52.2 million (2010)[1]
Total assets €2.113 billion (end 2010)[1]
Total equity €877.9 million (end 2010)[1]
Number of employees
6,285 (end 2010)[1]

SGL Carbon SE is a German chemical company. It is one of the world's leading manufacturers of products from carbon. The company portfolio ranges from carbon and graphite materials to carbon fibers and composites. A broad base of materials, the deployment of the relevant technologies and many years of application and engineering expertise are the basis of the company's success.

With 38 production sites around the globe (20 in Europe, 12 in North America and 6 in Asia), and a service network in over 100 countries, the SGL Group is a globally operating company. The organizational structure was realigned on February 1, 2007 and streamlined from what used to be three business segments to two. Three globally aligned business units operate within these segments. The company headquarters is Wiesbaden, Germany.

The SGL share has been included in the German MDAX since 1995. In 2007, on sales revenues of €1,373.0 million, the company generated net income of €130.9 million. To the end of the 2007 fiscal year, the company employed 5,249 staff worldwide.


SGL Carbon AG originated in 1992 from a merger between SIGRI GmbH (Germany) and Great Lakes Carbon (USA) to share a company according to German law. Since March 2007, SGL Carbon AG has operated on the market as SGL Group - The Carbon Company.

SIGRI traced back to Gebr. Siemens & Co (Gesco), founded in Berlin as a subsidiary of Siemens AG in 1878. The company originally produced carbon. In 1920, the company set up a plant in Meitingen (Bavaria) and in 1928 merged with Planiawerke AG für Kohlefabrikation in Ratibor (Upper Silesia) to form the new Siemens Planiawerke AG für Kohlefabrikate. After the Second World War, the Meitingen plant of the Siemens Planiawerke AG für Kohlefabrikate merged with Chemische Fabrik Griesheim to form Siemens Plania Chemisches Werk Griesheim, the majority of which was acquired by Hoechst AG in 1953. In 1967, as a result of the merger with electrode manufacturing at Hoechst AG, Siemens Planiawerke AG für Kohlefabrikate also became a majority holding of the chemical company. There it was amalgamated with the Siemens Plania Chemisches Werk Griesheim and other enterprises of Hoechst AG. In 1985 it was renamed SIGRI GmbH and finally Hoechst AG acquired total ownership in 1989.

After the merger with Great Lakes Carbon, Hoechst AG retained a 50 percent stake in the new company. The remaining participation was sold in 1996 as part of restructuring of the Hoechst Group. Since then SGL Carbon AG has been widely held.

Group structure

The company has the following structures:

The function of the Board of Management follows the principle of a management holding which acts as a legally independent entity (SGL Carbon AG).

The operating business is divided into the two areas "Advanced Materials" and "Performance Products" and is operated by three global business units: Graphite Materials & Systems (GMS), Carbon Fibers & Composites (CFC) and Performance Products (PP).

Products/applications and markets

The Graphite Materials & Systems business unit operates primarily in the areas of process technology, graphite specialties and expanded graphite. The main customer industries of the varied products and applications are process equipment, the automotive and the chemical industry, electronics, energy, environmental protection the semiconductor industry, industrial furnace construction and mechanical engineering, medical technology and pharmacy as well as nuclear technology.

The Carbon Fibers & Composites product portfolio covers carbon fibers, braking and clutch components as well as composite materials and components. The focus of the business unit is the development and market launch of innovative materials, products and solutions for rapidly expanding markets. Currently there is a high demand, particularly for composite materials, which feature low weight on the one hand and can withstand high loads on the other. In addition, they are corrosion-resistant and only expand slightly when exposed to heat. For this reason, there is an increasing demand in the aerospace and aeronautic industry, in mechanical engineering and process equipment, medical technology as well as in the sports industry and energy generation (wind turbines).

The Performance Products business unit primarily produces high-quality graphite electrodes which are used as a source of energy in steel production in electric arc furnaces. In addition, carbon electrodes are manufactured which are used in melting processes for other metallurgic applications (e.g. silicon metal, phosphorus). This product portfolio is rounded off with cathodes, primarily required for use in aluminum production and furnace linings for pig iron production.


At the end of 2007, the SGL Group had a total of 38 production sites (20 in Europe, 12 in North America and 6 in Asia). In Germany - in addition to its headquarters in Wiesbaden - the company has a total of eight production facilities, three of these are located in Meitingen (near Augsburg), in Bonn and in the Frankfurt suburb of Griesheim.

In addition, the SGL Group has an extensive service and distribution network with which it supplies its customers in approximately 100 countries worldwide. By opening further locations, e.g., the construction of the most state-of-the-art carbon and graphite hub in Banting/Selangor (Malaysia), where the foundations were laid at the end of March 2007, the company will further optimize service on a local basis.

Electrode cartel and antitrust litigation

In the field of graphite electrodes for electric arc furnaces, SGL Carbon was one of eight companies that operated a cartel and fixed prices between July 1992 and June 1997. The primary purpose of the cartel was to fix the price and allocate the volume of graphite electrodes sold in the United States and elsewhere.[2]

SGL Carbon was among the companies accused and fined for operating as a cartel and price fixing in the carbon electrode business. This was initially discovered in the US but later the European commission added their own case and fine.

Eight companies were fined under the EEC action, the largest were Germany's SGL Carbon AG and UCAR International (Now Graftech International Ltd. of the United States). In the finding the EEC states:

The Commission's decision comes after a thorough investigation, which established that the eight producers, which together account for the quasi totality of the production world-wide, operated a secret cartel during most of the 90s resulting in considerably higher prices than if the companies had competed against each other.[3]

SGL Carbon received the highest fine of the eight conspirators, amounting to €80.2 million in Europe in addition to the $135 million in the United States.

To protect itself against damage payments for price fixing, SGL Carbon sought Chapter 11 protection in the United States. The Third Circuit adopted a "good faith" test and rejected a bankruptcy petition filed only because of the magnitude of anticipated antitrust claims.[4]


SGL Carbon was the main sponsor to the German Cycling team at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.


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