Albright and Wilson was founded in 1856 in The United Kingdom initially as a Partnership between two Quakers, Arthur Albright, and John Edward Wilson. It became a private limited company, Albright & Wilson Ltd, in 1892; and it remained a double family-owned firm, for nearly 100 years, until 5 March 1948, when it became a public company.
Albright and Wilson expanded considerably into silicones, detergents, food additives, metal finishing chemicals, strontium based chemicals and chromium based chemicals. It was the second largest chemical manufacturer in the United Kingdom after ICI.
Albright & Wilson commenced exporting to Australia in the early 1930s, and, in 1939 a decision was made to set up a manufacturing operation at Yarraville, in Melbourne, Victoria to manufacture phosphoric acid and phosphates. The company began manufacturing surfactants at Yarraville in 1958, and in 1966 manufacture of surfactants was relocated at Box Hill in Victoria following the acquisition of Gardinol Chemicals Pty Ltd.
Growth in the household and personal care markets, necessitated expansion of the surfactants manufacturing footprint. This resulted in the purchase of land and set up of a green fields manufacturing facility at Wetherill Park in Sydney, New South Wales. By 1989, all surfactant manufacturing had been relocated to Wetherill Park.
Since its establishment in Australia, Albright & Wilson (Australia) Limited was jointly owned by Albright & Wilson PLC and ICI Australia & NZ Ltd. This remained the case until 1991, when ICI divested of its shareholding to Salim Oleochemicals (S.E.A.) Pte Ltd. In 1993 Salim’s shareholding was transferred to Universal Interchemical Corporation Pte Ltd.
In 2003, Albright & Wilson Australia Limited became a wholly owned subsidiary of Universal Interchemical Corporation Pte Ltd.