Our History

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Our 100-year history

A century ago, in 1923, August and Herbert Kochs started the Diversey journey. They developed the first-ever combined cleaner-disinfectant and sold it in barrels.

100 years later, the Diversey name has become synonymous with innovation and quality. Diversey is a trusted leading global pure-play provider to the cleaning and hygiene industry for the institutional and food & beverage markets.



Journey through the world of Diversey and explore some of our key milestones, starting with our humble beginnings in Chicago by a dynamic father and son team, our expanding global reach, and our initiatives to ensure our innovative cleaning technologies are meeting the needs of today and tomorrow.



Celebrating 100 years of taking care of what’s precious



- Diversey celebrates 100 years of taking care of what’s precious through hygiene, infection prevention, and sustainability innovation
- Diversey Middle East & Africa is recognized as a "Top Employer" in Turkey, Egypt, UAE, and South Africa by Top Employers Institute


- Diversey is announced as a Winner at the World Sustainability Awards 2022
- Diversey expands offerings to cover the cruise industry
- Diversey expands overseas, with its acquisition of Australian hygiene manufacturer, Tasman Chemicals
- Diversey partners with Typsy, the hospitality training platform, to provide on-demand training that supports better cleaning and hygiene practices
- Diversey and LG Electronics announce strategic partnership
- Diversey is awarded at the 2022 Middle East & North Africa Stevie® Awards for its innovation in human resources management, planning, and practice
- Diversey joins forces with Reckitt, makers of Lysol and Dettol, to further help businesses prevent the spread of illness-causing germs in B2B spaces
- Eric Foss is appointed Chairman of the Board
- Diversey strengthens its presence in Europe with its accretive acquisition of Shorrock Trichem


- Diversey completes acquisition of Birko Corporation and Chad Equipment LLC
- Diversey completes acquisition of Avmor
- Diversey unveils its Innovation Zone Research and Development Center as part of its commitment to sustainability
- Diversey Oxivir® Tb is recognized as one of the Best Infection Prevention Products in 2021 by Newsweek and the Leapfrog Group
- Diversey and Halomine form a strategic alliance to drive HaloFilm technology on a global scale
- Diversey files for an IPO
- Solenis and Diversey sign a global partnership agreement that adds significant value to the food and beverage industry
- Phil Wieland takes up a position as CEO of Diversey


- Diversey completes acquisition of SaneChem, a Polish-based supplier of specialist hygiene solutions for the food and beverage industry
- Diversey’s SURE® plant-based cleaning solutions receive Cradle-to-Cradle GOLD certification
- Diversey North America is honoured with the International Service Excellence Award and Platinum Certification from the Customer Service Institute of America


Bain Capital’s purchase from Sealed Air makes Diversey a standalone company again



- Diversey expands its R&D presence in the Chinese market
- Diversey North America is recognized by the Customer Service Institute of America for its commitment to service excellence


- Diversey is recognized for its corporate social responsibility achievements by the American Chamber of Commerce in Thailand
- Diversey unveils its new sustainability strategy and 2025 goals
- Mark Burgess becomes CEO


- Diversey acquires Twister, the leading manufacturer of diamond cleaning pads
- Bain Capital Private Equity begins acquisition of Zenith Hygiene Group plc to expand Diversey in Europe
- Bain Capital Private Equity purchases the Diversey Care division of Sealed Air for $3.2 billion, to be managed as a standalone company, Diversey, Inc.
- Diversey celebrates 95 years of innovation
- Dr Ilham Kadri is named President and CEO of Diversey Inc., ahead of the completion of the Bain Capital purchase


- By this year, Sealed Air’s strategy is shifting to focus on food, product, and medical packaging and to divest what it considers non-core business
- Sealed Air announces a plan to spin off its Diversey Care division along with the food hygiene and cleaning business within its Food Care division


- Fortune recognizes Diversey as a top 10 global innovator and socially responsible leader


- Diversey and WWF partner to develop a Food Security Initiative
- Diversey is awarded a position on the 2014 CDP S&P 500 Climate Disclosure Leadership Index


- Sealed Air Corporation announces new divisional strategies, creating the business entities of Food Care, Product Care, and Diversey Care
- Dr Ilham Kadri becomes President of Diversey


- Sealed Air Corporation announces plans to purchase Diversey, Inc.


- JohnsonDiversey, Inc. and JohnsonDiversey Holdings, Inc. announce on March 1, that the Board of Directors of both entities have approved a change of their corporate names. JohnsonDiversey, Inc. changes its name to Diversey, Inc. and JohnsonDiversey Holdings, Inc. changes to Diversey Holdings


JohnsonDiversey is created after Johnson Wax Professional acquires DiverseyLever



- Unilever reduces its equity interest in JohnsonDiversey to 4%, with Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, Inc. acquiring 46%. The Diversey name is sold with all the brands used exclusively by the DiverseyLever operations. DiverseyLever continues to sell certain consumer brands retained by Unilever to professional and cash-and-carry channels
- Diversey is a founding member of the WWF Global Water Roundtable to establish water use standards and address clean water issues


- The ten-year Umbrella Agreement goes into effect January 1, except for in certain countries with a transitional arrangement
- Diversey joins the World Wildlife Fund’s (WWF) Climate Savers Programme


- An “Umbrella Agreement” is formed, wherein Unilever agrees to grant 31 of Diversey’s subsidiaries a license to produce and sell professional size packs of Unilever’s consumer brand cleaning products


- Sale of the Polymer Business to BASF is completed


- DiverseyLever institutional and industrial cleaning business is sold to Johnson Wax Professional, with Unilever retaining 33% equity interest in the new JohnsonDiversey business. The acquisition creates the second-largest company in the institutional and industrial market with approximately $2.6 billion in sales of Johnson Wax Professional products and DiverseyLever products
- As part of the DiverseyLever acquisition, Diversey is granted licenses of specified trademarks, patents, design rights, copyrights and know-how used in the DiverseyLever business that were retained by Unilever; and Diversey grants Unilever a license to use specified intellectual property rights and patents and registered designs that were transferred to Diversey in the acquisition
Diversey Inc. acquires the DiverseyLever business, an institutional and industrial cleaning and sanitation business, from Conopco – a wholly-owned subsidiary of Unilever. As part of the deal, Unilever acquires a one-third interest in Diversey Holdings, Inc., while CMH retains the remaining two-thirds


- CMH contributes its shares to Johnson Professional Holdings, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of CMH
In anticipation of the acquisition of the DiverseyLever business, Diversey Holdings Inc. is incorporated in the State of Delaware in November, under the name Johnson Professional Holdings, Inc. Following the acquisition, the company changes its name from Johnson Professional Holdings, Inc. to “JohnsonDiversey Holdings, Inc.”
- Proforma sales of DiverseyLever are estimated to be €1.654 billion
- U.S. operations are based in Cincinnati, Ohio, a hub of Unilever activities


Unilever purchases the Diversey Corp. from Molson



- In November, Diversey Inc. is separated from SCJ in a tax-free spin-off


- Diversey Inc. is incorporated in Delaware under the name S.C. Johnson Commercial Markets, Inc.


- As Molson slowly exits the cleaning chemicals market, it sells most of Diversey in 1996 to Unilever. The acquisition of the Diversey Corporation marks Unilever's first foray into the industrial cleaning sector. DiverseyLever is created through its subsequent merging with Unilever’s Lever Industrial International
- Diversey founds the Marine Stewardship Council with the World Wildlife Fund


- UN Environmental Programme awards Diversey with the World Environment Centre Gold Medal for International Achievement


Diversey has the greatest worldwide presence of any company in the chemical industry



- US Chemical begins to sell through distribution


- Diversey has the greatest worldwide presence of any company in the chemical industry
- Molson acquires American cleaning chemicals company, BASF Wyandotte Corporation, and merges it with Diversey, expanding the chemical specialties division to 36 countries



Molson makes its first large U.S acquisition, purchasing Diversey Corp.



- Molson Companies Limited, North America's oldest brewery, diversifies into chemical specialties, acquiring Diversey Corp for $28 per share of stock


- Molson Companies Ltd. is a Canadian customer of Diversey, and, in 1977, the brewer looks for a substantial acquisition in the U.S. The following summer, Molson makes a substantial offer to Diversey shareholders and seals the deal


- Diversey removes CFCs from all aerosol products, 13 years before the Montreal Protocol


Diversey begins manufacturing dispensing equipment


- The equipment department is established and begins manufacturing dispensing equipment



- US Chemical is created to provide world class product formulas, covering every aspect of cleaning. It later becomes the number one producer of private label institutional cleaning products


Diversey becomes and independent company



- Diversey Corp. becomes an independent company after a public offering of 143,000 shares of common stock by F. Eberstadt & Co., Inc.


Diversey is founded in Chicago, Illinois



- The Diversey Corporation is founded by August and his son, Herbert Kochs, as a subsidiary of Victor Chemical Works, the Kochs’ Chicago-based industrial cleaner business.
- The Kochs want to give their new organization a name that will "not limit them",so they name it after nearby Diversey Avenue – a name with no "connotations" or "meaning" and unlimited potential