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Imerys S.A.
Société Anonyme
Traded asEuronextNK
CAC Mid 60 Component
Founded1880 (1880)
Area served
Key people
Conrad Keijzer (Chief Executive Officer)
ProductsSpecialty minerals
RevenueIncrease €4.590 billion (2018)[1]
Increase €562 million (2018)[1]
Increase €357 million (2018)[1]
Total assetsIncrease €7.594 billion (2018)[1]
OwnerBelgian Securities BV (53.91%)
Blue Crest Holding SA (4.86%)
Others (41.00%)

Imerys S.A. is a French multinational company which specialises in the production and processing of industrial minerals. It is headquartered in Paris and is a constituent of the CAC Mid 60 index.

Imerys has operations in 50 countries and has more than 18,000 employees. It extracts and processes rocks and minerals on behalf of customers in the manufacturing and construction industries.

Groupe Bruxelles Lambert is the largest shareholder of Imerys.


The Company was founded in 1880 and for many years was known as Imetal.[2] It was founded by the Rothschild family, combining a few of their many subsidiaries in the metals and mining industries.[3]

The group's original activity was mining and transforming nickel. Its original name was Société Penarroya—Le Nickel (SLN). In the 1970s, the Group diversified and expanded its business. A holding company was created under the name of Imetal.

In 1980 Imétal absorbed the Société Mokta El Hadid, which was renamed Compagnie française de Mokta (CFM).[4]

From 1990 onwards, Imetal focused its development on industrial minerals, pursuing an acquisition policy. The Group established positions in the white pigments business and then the graphite market. It later grew through acquisitions in refractories, clays, ceramic bodies and technical ceramics. Between 1994 and 1998, Imetal doubled in size: one-third through organic growth and two-thirds through external growth. In 1998, the business was structured around two sectors (Mineral Transformation and Metal Transformation) and organized into operating divisions.

In 1998, Imetal took over English China Clays plc, a major UK producer of white pigments (kaolin and calcium carbonates), and then changed its name to Imerys.[2] Following this acquisition, Imetal refocused its activity on minerals processing, selling its Metal Transformation business, including the North American companies Copperweld and Copperweld Canada (now Fushi Copperweld). To reflect this development, Imetal changed its name, giving birth to Imerys on 22 September 1999.

The Group completed this refocusing by withdrawing from activities that no longer matched its core business, including dimension stones (Georgia, United States) and processing. Its speciality chemicals distribution business (CDM AB, Sweden) was also divested in 2004. In 2005, refractory mineral trading activities, notably basic refractories (American Minerals, Inc, United States) and roofing products distribution (Larivière, France) were sold. At the same time, Imerys acquired from Alleghany Corp. the U.S. company World Minerals Inc., a leading producer of diatomaceous earth and perlite.[5]

Since 1997, the company has transformed into a specialist of specialty minerals, under the impetus first of Patrick Kron, who has since become the chief of Alstom, and then Gérard Buffière.


The Imerys china clay works in Bugle, Cornwall, United Kingdom

Active in 50 countries with more than 250 industrial locations, Imerys operates about 130 mines and extracts 30 different minerals or families of minerals. The company achieved sales of €4.1 billion in 2015.

Using minerals mined from its reserves and processed using complex processes, the group develops solutions for use by industrial clients in their products or production processes. Its minerals have many applications in everyday life, including construction, hygiene products, paper, paint, plastic, ceramics, telecommunications, and beverage filtration.

Headquartered in Paris, it employs about 16,000 people.

The company's North American Operations are headquartered in Roswell, Georgia and in San Jose, California the United States.

Operating divisions[edit]

The Group is organized around 2 segments, grouping 5 business areas built around our core markets.

  • The Performance Minerals segment brings together three geographic business areas: Europe Middle East Africa (EMEA), Americas and Asia Pacific (APAC) serving plastics, paints & coatings, filtration, ceramics, renewable energy, and paper & board markets;
  • The High-Temperature Materials & Solutions segment regroups two business areas: High-Temperature Solutions, and Refractory Abrasives & Construction serving refractory, foundry, metal flow, abrasives, and building chemistry markets.

Corporate affairs[edit]

Financial data[edit]

In 2018, Imerys improved its financial performance with a + 6.8% revenue and a + 2.0% current operating income increase, with an operating margin of 12.2%. The current free operating cash flow was robust, at 286 million euros for the fiscal year. The net income from current operations increased + 6.5%, in line with the guidance.

The Group has divested the Roofing activity, the last remaining building materials business in the portfolio, and implemented decisive actions to address adverse market changes in some of our operations.

Imerys is entering 2019 with a stronger balance sheet, an improved growth profile as a world leader in specialty minerals and a new, more customer-focused organization.

Considering a still volatile and uncertain market environment, the Group will give priority to cost and cash management in 2019.

Major shareholders[edit]

Main shareholders as of December 31, 2018:[6]

  • Belgian Securities BV: 53.91%
  • Blue Crest Holding SA: 4.86%
  • Other shareholders: 41.00%

Executive Committee[edit]

  • Conrad Keizjer, Chief Executive Officer
  • Olivier Pirotte, Chief Financial Officer
  • Philippe Bourg, Senior Vice President Refractory Abrasives & Construction
  • Michel Cornelissen, Senior Vice President High-Temperature Solutions
  • Guillaume Delacroix, Senior Vice President Performance Minerals EMEA
  • Cyril Giraud, Senior Vice President Performance Minerals APAC
  • Jim Murberger, Senior Vice President Performance Minerals Americas
  • Frédérique Berthier-Raymond, Group General Counsel
  • Jean-François Claver, Chief Industrial Officer
  • Olivier Hautin, Chief Strategy Officer
  • Vincent Lecerf, Chief Human Resources Officer
  • Thierry Materne, Chief Innovation Officer


Amongst its other activities, Imerys is bidding to develop one of the ten eco-towns proposed for construction in England. Planned for the site of former china clay mines in Cornwall, the project has the provisional title St Austell and Clay Country Eco-town.

Imerys Talc America worker lockout[edit]

Workers stand at a picket line after being locked out by Imerys Talc.

After Imerys Talc America in Three Forks, Montana unveiled plans to phase out union workers' retiree insurance, seniority, and overtime clauses, and to alter work rules and classifications, Boilermakers Local D-239 union workers did not ratify a new contract. In response, Imerys ordered 35 union workers off the property at 7 p.m. Aug 2, 2018.[7] The mill's union president, Randy Tocci, stated that the company brought in employees from other sites around Montana to run the mill in Three Forks, crossing picket lines. U.S. Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) issued a statement admonishing Imerys to "get back to the negotiating table."[8] On August 9, Montana Governor Steve Bullock stood with the unionized plant employees for more than an hour, offering his support and expressing hope that the parties would return to negotiations.[9]

On October 6, in response to the lockout, Tester introduced a bill called Prohibiting Incentives for Corporations that Kickout Employees Tax Act, or PICKET Act (S. 3544 ), that would raise tax rates and eliminate tax breaks for corporations while they are engaged in labor lockouts. The bill would also raise the income tax rate to the corporate tax rate prior to the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, from 21 percent to 35 percent, for the entire tax year. Deduction of wages and benefits for temporary workers during the lockout would also be prohibited under the Act, and certain tax credits for hiring replacement workers would be prevented.[10]

On October 11, the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers released a video on a website they created, detailing the locked-out workers' issues and calling for Imerys Talc to go back to the negotiating table to find a fair solution and end the lockout.[11]


  1. ^ a b c d Imerys, [1], retrieved 13 March 2019
  2. ^ a b Imerys: History Archived 2008-11-15 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Return of the Rothschilds: the great banking dynasty through two turbulent centuries, I.B.Tauris, 1995, Herbert R. Lottman, page 299
  4. ^ "Compagnie des Minerais de Fer Magnétique De Mokta-el-Hadid" (PDF), Entreprises Coloniales (in French), p. 194, 5 July 2015, retrieved 2017-08-14
  5. ^ SEC Info - Alleghany Corp/DE - 8-K - For 7/14/05
  6. ^
  7. ^ Hamilton, Emma (August 4, 2018). "Talc plant workers protest in Three Forks after bosses lock them out". Cordillera Communications. Retrieved August 6, 2018.
  8. ^ Loveridge, Melissa (August 4, 2018). "Union employees and Three Forks community picket talc plant after lockout". Bozeman Daily Chronicle. Pioneer News Group. Retrieved August 6, 2018.
  9. ^ "Montana Governor Visits Locked-Out Union Workers". U.S. News & World Report. Associated Press. 2018-08-09. Retrieved 2018-08-17.
  10. ^ Abby Lynes (2018-10-06). "Tester introduces corporate tax bill in response to Three Forks plant lockout". Bozeman Daily Chronicle. Pioneer News Group. Retrieved 2018-10-11.
  11. ^ Wiser, Amy (October 11, 2018). "We Want To Go Back to Work". International Brotherhood of Boilermakers. Retrieved October 11, 2018.

External links[edit]