1929 Krebs Pigment & Chemical Company

DuPont acquired the Krebs Pigment & Chemical Company of Newport, Del., for $5.9 million in June 1929 to strengthen its position in the pigments market. Founded in 1902 by Henrick J. Krebs, Krebs Pigments and Chemical Company produced lithopone, a widely used white paint pigment also manufactured by DuPont.Show more



But Krebs' company had another asset of special interest to DuPont. It possessed a license to use a competing, more expensive and more effective white pigment, titanium dioxide (TiO2), patented by the National Lead Company. Krebs' license covered the use of TiO2 only as an extender or additive to lithopone pigments, not the manufacture of TiO2 itself, but the Krebs acquisition offered DuPont an initial foothold in the TiO2 market.

 

In 1931 DuPont formed a joint venture, the Krebs Pigment and Color Corporation, with the Commercial Pigments Corporation in order to develop a TiO2 production process that would not violate National Lead's patent. But two years later National Lead and DuPont, facing the possibility of expensive patent suits, agreed instead to share their patents and processes. In 1934 DuPont purchased the Commercial Pigments Corporation's 30 percent minority interest in Krebs Pigment and Color, making the latter a wholly owned DuPont subsidiary, the Krebs Pigment and Color Corporation. DuPont placed the new subsidiary in its Krebs Pigments Department, which it renamed the Pigments Department in 1942 when it dissolved Krebs Pigment and Color Corporation's assets and transferred them into the DuPont Company. DuPont's TiO2-based Ti-Pure® white pigment eventually became one of the company's most successful products.