Sonneborn is Reborn


Investment firm Sun Capital Partners on Friday completed its acquisition of Crompton Corp.s Refined Products business. The newly spun-offcompany was named Sonneborn Inc., adopting the identity it used for the first half of the 20th century.

Sun Capital of Boca Raton, Fla., paid $80 million for the business, which includes plants in Petrolia, Pa., as well as Amsterdam, Koog aan de Zaan and Haarlem, Netherlands. With 470 employees and annual revenues of $265 million, Sonneborn is the worlds largest dedicated supplier of white oils, petrolatums and microcrystalline waxes.

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Built around the Petrolia refinery, the business was created in the late 1800s under the name Dougherty. In the early 1900s, it was bought by the Sonneborn family, and it continued operating under that name until bought by Witco in the 1960s. Witco merged with Crompton and Knowles in 2000 to form Crompton, which considered Refined Products to be a non-core operation.

The companys new owners decided to revert to the Sonneborn name even though it has not been used for some time.

It was used sparingly during the 1980s and 1990s, said Marketing Director Rich Callahan, who is based Tarrytown, N.Y. However, what the name stood for was never forgotten by customers that viewed the name to be synonymous with premium quality products and excellent customer and technical service.

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