|Traded as||FWB: SGL|
|Products||Graphite specialties, carbon fibres and composites|
|Revenue||€1.087 billion (2019)|
Number of employees
|5,127 (end 2019)|
SGL Carbon SE is a European company based in Germany. It is one of the world's leading manufacturers of products from carbon. The company portfolio ranges from carbon and graphite materials and solutions to carbon fibers and composites.
With 29 production sites around the globe (16 in Europe, 8 in North America and 5 in Asia), and a service network in over 100 countries, SGL Carbon is a globally operating company. The company headquarters is Wiesbaden, Germany.
The SGL share had been included in the German MDAX since 1995 and fell in the smaller SDAX in September 2014. In March 2020, the Deutsche Boerse announced that SGL Carbon will no longer be a constituent of the SDAX due to the low free float market capitalization. In 2019 the company generated sales revenue of €1,087 million and employed 5,100 staff worldwide.
SGL Carbon AG originated in 1992 from a merger between SIGRI GmbH (Germany) and Great Lakes Carbon (USA) to share a company according to German law. (Some information about the history of Great Lakes Carbon can be found on the Wikipedia page for its founder George Skakel).
SIGRI traced back to Gebr. Siemens & Co (Gesco), founded in Berlin as a subsidiary of Siemens AG in 1878. The company originally produced carbon. In 1920, the company set up a plant in Meitingen (Bavaria) and in 1928 merged with Planiawerke AG für Kohlefabrikation in Ratibor (Upper Silesia) to form the new Siemens Planiawerke AG für Kohlefabrikate. After the Second World War, the Meitingen plant of the Siemens Planiawerke AG für Kohlefabrikate merged with Chemische Fabrik Griesheim to form Siemens Plania Chemisches Werk Griesheim, the majority of which was acquired by Hoechst AG in 1953. In 1967, as a result of the merger with electrode manufacturing at Hoechst AG, Siemens Planiawerke AG für Kohlefabrikate also became a majority holding of the chemical company. There it was amalgamated with the Siemens Plania Chemisches Werk Griesheim and other enterprises of Hoechst AG. In 1985 it was renamed SIGRI GmbH and finally Hoechst AG acquired total ownership in 1989.
After the merger with Great Lakes Carbon, Hoechst AG retained a 50 percent stake in the new company. The remaining participation was sold in 1996 as part of restructuring of the Hoechst Group. Since then SGL Carbon AG is publicly traded.
In the course of the strategic realignment in 2017, SGL Carbon sold its former core business with graphite electrodes and the business with cathodes, furnace linings and carbon electrodes. At the beginning of 2018, the company sold its shares in the joint venture SGL-Kümpers to the former joint venture partner Kümpers GmbH.
Also in 2018, SGL Carbon acquired the shares in the joint venture Benteler-SGL from Benteler AG and announced the gradual acquisition of BMW Group's shares in the joint venture SGL Automotive Carbon Fibers (ACF).
The company has the following structures:
The function of the Board of Management follows the principle of a management holding which acts as a legally independent entity (SGL Carbon SE).
The operating business is divided into the two business units Graphite Materials & Systems (GMS) and Composites - Fibers & Materials (CFM).
Products/applications and markets
The Graphite Materials & Systems business unit operates primarily in the areas of graphite specialties. The main customer industries of the varied products and applications are process equipment, the automotive and the chemical industry, electronics, energy, battery, environmental protection the semiconductor industry including LED, industrial furnace construction and mechanical engineering, medical technology and pharmacy as well as nuclear technology.
The Composites - Fibers & Materials product portfolio covers carbon fibers, braking and clutch components as well as composite materials and components. The focus of the business unit is the development and market launch of materials, products and solutions. Currently there is a high demand, particularly for composite materials, which feature low weight on the one hand and can withstand high loads on the other. In addition, they are corrosion-resistant and only expand slightly when exposed to heat. For this reason, there is an increasing demand in the aerospace and automotive industry, in mechanical engineering and process equipment, medical technology as well as in the sports industry and energy generation (wind turbines).
At the end of 2018, SGL Carbon had a total of 31 production sites (17 in Europe, 8 in North America and 6 in Asia). In Germany - in addition to its headquarters in Wiesbaden - the company has a total of five production facilities, located in Meitingen (near Augsburg), in Bonn in Wackersdorf, in Limburg and in Willich.
In addition, SGL Carbon has an extensive service and distribution network with which it supplies its customers in approximately 100 countries worldwide.
Electrode cartel and antitrust litigation
In the field of graphite electrodes for electric arc furnaces, SGL Carbon was one of eight companies that operated a cartel and fixed prices between July 1992 and June 1997. The primary purpose of the cartel was to fix the price and allocate the volume of graphite electrodes sold in the United States and elsewhere.
SGL Carbon was among the companies accused and fined for operating as a cartel and price fixing in the carbon electrode business. This was initially discovered in the US but later the European commission added their own case and fine.
Eight companies were fined under the EEC action, the largest were Germany's SGL Carbon AG and UCAR International (Now Graftech International Ltd. of the United States). In the finding the EEC states:
- The Commission's decision comes after a thorough investigation, which established that the eight producers, which together account for the quasi totality of the production world-wide, operated a secret cartel during most of the 90s resulting in considerably higher prices than if the companies had competed against each other.
SGL Carbon received the highest fine of the eight conspirators, amounting to €80.2 million in Europe in addition to the $135 million in the United States.
To protect itself against damage payments for price fixing, SGL Carbon sought Chapter 11 protection in the United States. The Third Circuit adopted a "good faith" test and rejected a bankruptcy petition filed only because of the magnitude of anticipated antitrust claims.
SGL Carbon was the main sponsor to the German Cycling team at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing and namesake of the football stadium from the German team FC Augsburg in the first German league from 2011 to 2015.
- "Annual Report 2019" (PDF). SGL Carbon. Retrieved 27 March 2020.
- "Production sites | SGL CARBON". www.sglcarbon.com. Retrieved 2019-03-27.
- boerse.ARD.de. "MDax und SDax werden geändert | Aktien News". boerse.ARD.de (in German). Retrieved 2020-03-27.
- Editorial, Reuters. "UPDATE 1-SGL to sell graphite electrode unit to Showa Denko in $384..." U.S. Retrieved 2018-08-17.
- "SGL sells its Performance Products business unit to investment group". www.compositesworld.com. Retrieved 2018-08-17.
- "SGL exits JV with Kümpers". www.insidecomposites.com. Retrieved 2018-08-17.
- "SGL Group becomes sole owner of Benteler-SGL". www.innovationintextiles.com. Retrieved 2018-08-17.
- "SGL Group acquires BMW Group's interest in carbon fibres JV - Plastics News Europe". Plastics News Europe. Retrieved 2018-08-17.
- SGL Carbon Plea, filed with DOJ
- EUROPA press release: Commission fines eight companies in graphite electrode cartel
- Findlaw Case Reference
- Allgemeine, Augsburger. "Die SGL-Arena heißt in Zukunft WWK-Arena". Augsburger Allgemeine (in German). Retrieved 2018-08-17.