BANNER CHEMICALS GROUP TO CELEBRATE 150 YEARS OF SUCCESS
A CHEMICALS company founded by the inventor of white spirit is celebrating its 150th anniversary.
Banner Chemicals Group has been trading from Sandhills Lane, Liverpool, since it was set up by entrepreneurial chemist Samuel Banner in 1860.
Today the company is a leading chemical distributor providing solvents and specialty chemicals to a wide range of industries from oil fields to pharmaceuticals. Banner also processes, packages and blends chemical products.
Banner Chemicals Group now has its head office in Runcorn, Cheshire, as well as a depot in Middlesbrough, Teesside, and employs 82 people. It is part of 2M Holdings and its sister company is Surfachem in Leeds.
But the firm has never forgotten its Liverpool roots and still has a site in Sandhills Lane, where it employs 12 people, to this day.
The company intends to celebrate its longstanding Liverpool connection at a 150th birthday party, with lunch and guest speakers, at Liverpool Town Hall on September 16.
Chairman Mottie Kessler said: “Banner Chemicals Group started life in Liverpool so it was very important to us to mark this milestone in Liverpool. Not many companies have been in existence for as long as we have and we couldn’t embark on the next 150 years without paying tribute and remembering where it all began.
“It’s difficult to name an industry that doesn’t use products from Banner Chemicals Group. It’s everything from ink and detergents to paint and cleaning products. We are a one stop shop for chemicals.
“Although the Banner family is no longer involved in the company we wanted to keep the name because it means something, is so well known and has a proud history in Liverpool.”
Among the guests will be Hilary Banner, the widow of Christopher Banner who was the last family member to be involved in the company; Banner Chemicals Group employees past and present; customers; suppliers; local MPs; the Lord Mayor of Liverpool Hazel Williams and business leaders such as Mike Parker, CBE of Liverpool Vision and former CEO of Dow Chemicals, and Dr Tony Bastock OBE, former Chemicals Northwest chairman.
Banner Chemicals Group is a member of Chemicals Northwest which champions the region’s world-class chemical sector.
Chemicals Northwest chief executive Dr Jenny Clucas said: “Banner Chemicals Group is a great example of the contribution that the chemical industry has made to the Northwest over decades, and in their case, centuries. We wish them well for the next 150 years!”
The company was established by Samuel Banner, a globetrotting chemist, who invented and patented white spirit.
This invention brought Banner fame and fortune and his city business prospered.
Since then the family-run firm has been bought and sold and has grown into leading international firm Banner Chemicals Group.
Notes to editors:
The company was owned by the Banner family until 1990, when the late Christopher Banner, the then MD agreed to sell the company to the management who were supported by venture capitalists 3i in their management buy-out. Shortly after the company became public it took over a public company and changed its name to Banner Chemicals Plc. In 1999, US firm Petroferm Inc. made an offer to buy the company and de-listed it. In September 2004, Petroferm agreed to sell Banner to 2M Holding, a company founded by Ian Thomas and Mottie Kessler. Mr Kessler is the current chairman of Banner Chemicals Group.
Chemicals Northwest is the industry-led chemical cluster support organisation for the £10.2 billion NW chemical sector. It operates on a not-for profit basis and is majority funded by the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA).
Chemicals Northwest’s key activities focus on four strategic themes:
• Equipping the current and future workforce with the skills they need.
• Advancing sustainable development practices in the industry.
• Focusing industry and academic research for future innovation.
• Improving the image of the industry and promoting the benefits to all.
For more information about Chemicals Northwest please visit: http://www.chemicalsnorthwest.org.uk/
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