The CHT Group celebrates its 70th anniversary in 2023 - a good occasion to review and look back on seventy years of Smart Chemistry with Character.
The CHT success story began in 1953 when Reinhold Beitlich founded the “Chemische Fabrik Tübingen R. Beitlich GmbH” – today: CHT Germany GmbH - in Tübingen. In its very first year of business, CHT achieved sales of around EUR 235,000 with 13 employees. Until the seventies, additional warehouses, production and shipping halls, administration and laboratory buildings were built almost every year.
During this growth phase the first subsidiaries were founded in Austria, France, South Africa and in Switzerland. In 1980, the Swiss subsidiary, today's CHT Switzerland AG, took up dyestuffs as a second pillar alongside textile auxiliaries and has since become CHT’s competence center for dyestuffs. Due to this expansion phase, Tübingen became too small as a production site, so that in 1972 the new production site in Dußlingen near Tübingen went into operation. Today, CHT continues to expand, with subsidiaries and corporate acquisitions, on all continents.
Since 1983, all companies of the CHT Group have belonged to RB Beitlich Industriebeteiligungen GmbH (RBI), which is privately owned by two foundations, the Beitlich Family Foundation and the charitable Reinhold Beitlich Foundation. This constellation ensures the independence and long-term continuity of the company as well as the steady expansion of CHT's core competencies of innovation and sustainability. The charitable Reinhold Beitlich Foundation ensures that part of the company's success benefits charity projects.
Already in the 1990s, CHT recognized that diversifying its product range beyond textiles was important for an economically strong company. In 1997, with the purchase of Hansa Textilchemie it entered the silicone business, which was further expanded in 2010 with the acquisition of Alpina Technische Produkte GmbH and in 2017 with the acquisition of the US-American ICM Silicones Group to serve the rapidly growing market for smartphones, e-mobility, etc. with silicone elastomers. In 2015, CHT acquired the Brazilian company Quimipel Indústria Química Ltda. enabling significant growth of its existing paper business. In 2019, it added sustainable wax additives to its construction business with the acquisition of keimadditec surface GmbH, supporting its vision to be the leading global reference for sustainable chemistry.
This broad diversification has enabled the medium-sized global player for specialty chemicals to avoid being set back by the various crises. CHT customers appreciate above all that CHT responds specifically to their wishes and needs in all areas of application. Particular attention is paid to the development of problem solutions that are characterized by a high degree of environmental awareness, because sustainability plays a major role at CHT. One example is BIOLAY, a newly developed natural barrier product against fats and oils that is readily biodegradable and free from microplastics and fluorocarbons. CHT has implemented the principles of the circular economy in ARRISTAN rAIR, a hydrophilic agent made from recycled PET bottles for long-lasting moisture management effects in sports and active wear made from recycled yarns and fabrics.
CHT aims to contribute to a sustainable future with its chemical products and solutions and to offer added value to customers. In addition, climate protection and meeting the goal of keeping global warming to 1.5 °C are important future tasks for mankind and, at the same time, a major challenge for medium-sized chemical companies. CHT is leading the way in contributing its share.