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Chemicals: the industries’ industry

The chemicals sector is at the heart of all industry, with sub-sectors including Petrochemicals, Polymers, Crop Protection, Flavours and Fragrances, Fertilisers, Industrial Gases and Nutritional Additives. Without them, almost everything we touch, live in, eat and drive would not exist.

Because of this, the chemicals industry is positioned to profit from a wide range of megatrends such as sustainability, electric mobility, alternative energy, an aging population, and major changes in consumer behaviour.

At Societe Generale our team of experts works on behalf of our clients to anticipate these trends and seek out opportunities for investment as they emerge. Taking a long view, our analysts are constantly scouring the market for chances grow our clients’ businesses.

How we work with clients

Today most chemical businesses are global, multi-location with a diverse work force. As a global investment bank, Societe Generale is well placed to serve these clients. We provide financing and investment banking services to many of the world’s largest chemical companies throughout Europe, Asia, the Middle East and the Americas.

The team’s approach is to work with internal partners to enrich and deepen their expertise, to maintain a strong, strategic dialogue with clients and to develop the best solutions for them as they grow and diversify their businesses.

Chemicals: the lowdown

The Chemicals sector is the industry of industries. It produces all the inputs for manufacturing industries. Every different part of your car, for instance, is made from materials which originally started out as some chemical.

The chemicals sector is truly global. It is largely comprised of companies that were globalised 150 or 200 years ago. Many were founded in the mid-19th century when they developed proprietary technologies. They then built factories all over the world to deliver their products to local markets.

Our network is strong. We finance 40-50 of the largest chemical groups worldwide. This means that we travel a lot and it gives us a huge amount of access to intellectual capital, allowing us to connect clients with relevant counterparts and helping them to maintain a strategic dialogue with their peers.

European chemical companies are focusing their energies on developing value-add products. In response market pressures, companies are investing in research and development to create specialist products which are unique and high quality. The emergence of a new breed of specialist chemical companies is seeing an evolution in the product portfolio of many of the larger European players.