General Chemical Corporation commenced business in December 1939, a few months after the outbreak of the Second World War. Its first core business was repacking caustic soda into small tins for retail sale to housewives wanting to make their own soap. Using soft soaps as a starting point, they expanded into many avenues such as tanning and finishing agents followed by bitumen, sealers and adhesives and finally moved onto paints and synthetic resins in 1965.
In 1982, Genkem took over the Sandtex business from Blue Circle. Sandtex “The original lighthouse paint” was the first textured coating in South Africa. Genkem then acquired a licenced agreement with a number of European companies for bitumen, sealants, resins, wood adhesives, adhesives, silicones, as well as the Bostik range of products. In 1988, Genkem bought Brooklyn from Burmah Castrol, who was for many years the largest adhesive manufacturer in SA.
On October 1st 1999, Qualichem (Pty) Limited, a dominant player in the industrial adhesives market in South Africa, reached agreement to acquire Genkem and with this acquisition, Qualichem-Genkem now formed the largest adhesive company in Southern Africa.
Along with the acquisition, came the trade names of: Genkem, Sandtex, Bourne and Tile Doctor. Not forgetting the Nova brand which was previously owned by Rickett and Coleman. This clearly indicates the diversity of the products offered, as well as the variety of consumers served by the Company.
Qualichem, as the holding company, has been in business for 31 years, and caters to the following industries: flooring, woodworking and timber, footwear, packaging, book binding, labels, paper converting and automotive.
Today, Genkem, as the company is now widely known, has grown dramatically over the years, and has throughout its history exhibited a flair for innovation through continuous investments in new technology and trends. With large and well-equipped factories, skilled and dedicated professionals and with access to the latest technological advances worldwide, the company is ready and able to meet any new challenges to its expertise and energies.
Genkem Europe forms part of the Qualichem Group of Companies and operates from offices based in Holland. Genkem Europe supplies Genkem’s quality range of industrial adhesives, sealants and coatings from its warehouse in the port of Rotterdam to different markets in Europe and beyond.