The Urethane Blog

Milliken Acquisition

Milliken Acquires Keystone Aniline Corporation to Better Serve Global Colorant Customers

April 13, 2017

Two privately held, family-owned companies share culture and values

Spartanburg, S.C. – Milliken & Company, a leading supplier of polymer-bound colorants and additives, today announced that it has acquired Keystone Aniline Corporation, a global leader in dyes, pigments, pigment dispersions and polymers, headquartered in Chicago, Ill. This move joins two successful organizations with complementary expertise and capabilities to offer customers a broader array of advanced colorant solutions, technologies and services. Further, the acquisition enables customers to streamline their supply chains by allowing them to obtain a wider range of products from a single source. Customers will see enhanced reliability of supply through Milliken’s acquirement of Keystone’s multiple facilities around the world.


“This acquisition has far-reaching benefits for everyone involved,” said Russ Rudolph, Vice President, Performance Colorants & Ingredients for Milliken. “Our combined customers win through greater availability of proven colorant technologies and resources that can help them penetrate and grow new markets to gain a competitive advantage. Our suppliers can expect new opportunities that will allow them to play a greater role in serving our expanded organization. From a business perspective, we look forward to accelerating our growth and creating greater value.”

Complementary Expertise, Shared Strengths  

Both Milliken and Keystone currently provide colorant technologies to the agricultural, plastics, coatings, inks and household institutional and industrial markets. Their customers rarely overlap because, until today, the two companies had specialized in different product areas. With a core focus on polymeric colorants, Milliken’s Performance Colorants & Ingredients business is renowned for its innovative chemistry and ability to synthesize new molecules, while Keystone brings exceptional formulation skills and application development technology to the table, creating a robust portfolio.

“By combining our product portfolios and specialized colorant knowledge with Milliken’s solutions and expertise, we create business and market synergies that will drive new global opportunities and better meet the evolving needs of our customers,” said John Andrews, CEO of Keystone. “The resulting organization will possess greater breadth and depth across the board, from research and development to formulation capabilities, quality control and product stewardship. This partnership will be a part of Milliken’s future growth and success.”

Both entities are privately held, family-owned companies with long histories in the colorants industry: 97 years for Keystone and 152 for Milliken. They share fundamental values including a strong emphasis on business ethics, as demonstrated by their leadership in regulatory compliance and safety. Both have been successful individually, with growth rates that exceed the market average. Milliken and Keystone operate globally, with facilities in North America, Europe, Latin America and Asia.

About Keystone

Keystone Aniline Corporation was founded in Chicago, Ill. in 1920 as a supplier of dry cleaning chemicals and dyes related to the re-dyeing of fabrics. In the 1950’s, the company’s focus was shifted to dyes and chemicals for use in non-textile applications. Through the 1970’s and into the 1990’s Keystone continued to expand nationally with ever increasing technical and application support and significantly expanded the development and production of specialty formulations for the plastics, inks, coatings, agriculture and the household and institutional markets. In 1998, the Huddersfield, England location was established to begin servicing customers in Europe. In 2002 Keystone opened their liquid formulation and pigment dispersion plant in Inman, SC. The plant was expanded adding additional laboratory and production capabilities in 2015. Today Keystone is a globally recognized colorant supplier offering broad based formulation and application expertise to customers in the majority of the industrial color consuming marketplaces. Food compliant dyes for plastics, pigment dispersions and dye liquids for wood coatings, agriculture and inks, and a wide range of both dyes, optical brighteners and pigments for home care products and other industrial markets make up Keystone’s unique product offering.

Milliken Acquires Keystone Aniline Corporation to Better Serve Global Colorant Customers

1602_7947.png 1602_7988.png

PHOTOS: Keystone brings exceptional colorant formulation skills and application development technology to the acquisition.