Solvay S.A.

This article is about the company named Solvay. For other uses, see Solvay (disambiguation).
Solvay S.A.
Société anonyme
Traded as Euronext: SOLB
Industry Chemicals
Founded 1863
Founder Alfred and Ernest Solvay
Headquarters Brussels, Belgium
Key people
Nicolas Boël (Chairman), Jean-Pierre Clamadieu (CEO)
Products Chemicals and plastics
Revenue €12.4 billion (2015)[1]
Profit €2.336 billion (2015)[1]
Total assets €17.89 billion (2014)[1]
Total equity €6.78 billion (2014)[1]
Number of employees
30,900 (FTE, 2015)[1]

Solvay S.A. is a Belgian chemical company founded in 1863, with its head office in Neder-Over-Heembeek, Brussels, Belgium.

In 2014, it realized 10.21 billion € in revenues, 1.783 billion € of REBITDA, 43% of its sales in emerging high-growth countries, 90% of its sales in markets where it is ranked among the top three manufacturers. With 119 sites, Solvay employs 30,900 people in 52 countries.


Medal cast in 1913 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Solvay and Company. Text (in French) reads "Ernest et Alfred Solvay".

Founded in 1863[2] by Ernest Solvay and his brother Alfred Solvay to produce sodium carbonate by the solvay process, the company has diversified into two major sectors of activity: chemicals and plastics. Before World War I, Solvay was the largest multination company in the world.[3] It was formerly also active in pharmaceuticals, but agreed to sell that entire division to Abbott Labs for €4.5 billion in September 2009,[4] a deal completed in February 2010.

In April 2011, the firm agreed to the €3.4 billion acquisition of French-based chemicals company Rhodia[5] and achieved in September 2011.

Since January 2012, the new Solvay is listed on the NYSE Euronext in Paris and joined the CAC 40 index in September 2012 to replace PSA Peugeot Citroën.[6] Solvay is historically listed on the NYSE Euronext in Brussels and part of BEL20 index.

Following its integration with Rhodia, the Committee of Executive Members at Solvay reorganised its various business units into five segments - Consumer Chemicals, Advanced Materials, Performance Chemicals, Functional Polymers and Corporate & Business Services, effective from 2013. The primary purposes of these changes were to take the Group closer to its customers, be more agile and be better placed to seize opportunities and realize its growth ambitions.[1]

The company is a supporter of the Solvay Conferences that were started by Ernest Solvay in 1911.[7]

On December 3, 2015, Solvay launched a share issue sent to existing shareholders, completing funding for the $5.5 billion purchase of Cytec Industries Inc.[8]

Corporate affairs

Solvay America offices in Houston, Texas

The company's head office is located in Brussels, Belgium.[9]

Solvay's United States subsidiary, Solvay America, Inc., is based in Houston, Texas.[10][11]


Solvay is a main partner of Solar Impulse and has contributed important R&D resources to their solar powered airplane project. That aircraft conducted its first test flight on 3 December 2009, and has achieved several important milestones since then, including successful solar-powered flights from Switzerland to Spain and Morocco in 2012.[12]

Currently, Solar Impulse II is attempting a round the world trip.

Fuel cell technology
SolviCore, a joint venture by Umicore and Solvay in the field of fuel cells is already pre-marketing membrane-electrode assemblies for different types of fuel cells for portable or mobile use.[13]

New generation lithium batteries for hybrid vehicles components make use of Solvay fluorinated polymers. Compared to conventional vehicles the hybrids reduce CO2 emissions by 30%.[14]

Soil remediation
Novosol: sodium bicarbonate-based process for treating and recovering mineral residues contaminated with heavy metals. [15]

Renewable feedstock
Development and industrialization of proprietary Epicerol process for manufacturing epichlorhydrin from natural glycerin.[16]


See also


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "Full year 2014 financial report". Solvay. Retrieved March 2014. Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  2. Solvay 150 Years History
  3. Gray-Block, Aaron; Blenkinsop, Philip (28 September 2009). "Abbott buys Solvay's drugs unit for 4.5 bln euros". Reuters. Retrieved 2009-09-28.
  4. Gray-Block, Aaron (4 April 2011). "Solvay bids 3.4 bln euros for France's Rhodia". Reuters. Retrieved 4 April 2011.
  5. Solvay replaced PSA Peugeot Citroën in CAC 40 index
  6. Solvay Conferences Fundings
  7. "Solvay launches 1.5 bln euro rights issue for Cytec buy". Reuters. 2015-12-03. Retrieved 2015-12-04.
  8. "Solvay Headquarters access map." Solvay. Retrieved on 5 July 2011. "Rue du Prince Albert, 33 - 1050 Ixelles"
  9. "Solvay News & Press Regional contacts." Solvay. Retrieved on 5 July 2011. "Solvay America, Inc. 3333 Richmond Avenue Houston TX 77098-3009"
  10. "Harris County Improvement District #3." (see map) Upper Kirby. Retrieved on December 10, 2008.
  12. Présentation SolviCore
  13. Lithium batteries for hybrid vehicles
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