More than 200 chemical companies with around 55,000 employees are located in Bavaria. A geographical focus of the industry is the Bavarian Chemical Triangle in eastern Upper Bavaria. However, there are also many chemical companies outside of the region, most of which produce preliminary products for other industries. Below is a list of the 3 largest chemical companies in Bavaria. These are also part of our list of the 600 largest chemical companies in Germany.
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1st place: Gebr. Knauf KG, Iphofen: 7.6 billion euros (2019)
In the small Lower Franconian town of Iphofen in the district of Kitzingen, one does not necessarily expect a company with worldwide activities. But this is the Gebr. Knauf KG, whose origins lie in a gypsum factory in the Saarland. The family-owned company is divided into a number of individual companies.
Today the name Knauf stands for a wide range of chemically-based building materials for the construction industry. Knauf manufactures and sells plaster and facade systems, dry screed, plasterboard for dry construction, insulation materials and packaging as well as machines for plaster and mortar processing. The group has 35,000 employees and is represented in 86 countries worldwide.
2nd place: Wacker Chemie AG, Munich: 4.9 billion euros in sales (2019)
Ethene and silicon – these are the two basic raw materials used by Wacker-Chemie AG. Founded in 1914, the Bavarian chemical company is now a global player with 23 production sites on three continents and sales in over 100 countries worldwide. Nearly 15,000 employees work in the company, where the Wacker family continues to call the shots.
Wacker Chemie has four divisions: Polysilicone (polysilicon for solar solutions), Silicones (approx. 2800 silicone products as precursors for various industries), Polymers (polymeric binders: including adhesives, mortars, paints, concrete binders), and Biosolutions (production processes for bioactive substances and pharmaceutical proteins).
3rd place: Hexal AG, Holzkirchen (Upper Bavaria): 1.4 billion euros turnover (2019)
Hexal is a well-known manufacturer of generic drugs. These are imitation versions with the same active ingredients as well-known drugs that are also approved for sale. The company, which now has 3,700 employees, was founded in 1986 by the twin Strüngmann brothers.
In 2005 it was sold to the Swiss Novartis Group, a leading global pharmaceutical and biotech conglomerate. Within the Novartis Group, Hexal is part of the Sandoz subgroup, which is now also based in Holzkirchen. The name Sandoz is linked to the former Sandoz Group. Novartis was created in 1996 from the merger of Ciba-Geigy and Sandoz (old).
Picture source: Mario Dobelmann
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