DSM (in full Koninklijke DSM N.V., or Royal DSM N.V.) is a multinational chemicals company. Its headquarters are in Heerlen, the Netherlands. Originally a state-owned coal mining company (Dutch State Mines/De StaatsMijnen), the activities of DSM are now grouped into five clusters: Nutrition, Pharma, Performance Materials, Polymer Intermediates and Base Chemicals and Materials.
The name DSM is actually derived from the English language, it is the acronym of the translation of the Dutch name; De Nederlandse Staatmijnen translated into Dutch State Mines (DSM). This company was regularly in the news in the late 1960s, because of the Dutch government's decision to close all the (state)mines. In 1973, after the last mine was closed, the company decided to carry the acronym as its name.
DSM’s products and services are used globally in a wide range of markets and applications. End markets include human and animal nutrition and health, personal care, pharmaceuticals, automotive, coatings and paint, electrics and electronics, life protection and housing. The company strategy focuses on accelerating profitable and innovative growth of the company’s specialties portfolio. DSM has annual sales of almost EUR 9 billion and employs some 23,000 people worldwide. The company is headquartered in the Netherlands, with locations in Europe, Asia, the Americas, Africa and Australia. DSM sells products for mass consumers and not the end users.
DSM was established in 1902 as a state coal mining company. Through the years the company focussed not only on mining, but also on the chemical sector. Due to the closure of all the mines and the unemployment that followed, the Dutch government stimulated the chemical plants, to provide jobs for the miners.
In 1989 DSM was privatized, and started its first sale of the company's common shares to public investors. In 2002 the company sold their petrochemical division (the naphtha crackers) to SABIC of Saudi Arabia. Also in 2002, DSM acquired the nutritional products (amongst others vitamins) division of Roche. In 2005 NeoResins, the coating resins business of Avecia was purchased.
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