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Cerdia’s history starts with Rhodia Acetow more than 100 years ago: The company was founded in 1912 in the Rhone valley in France. Its specialty were polyester and nylon textiles. Later, Rhodia Acetow developed huge business opportunities in producing cigarette filter tow and cellulose acetate. In 2018, the company opened a new chapter in their books: The international headquarters were moved from Freiburg i.B., Germany to Basel. The new stand-alone entity in Basel was rebranded Cerdia in March 2019. Today, Cerdia has an annual turnover of more than 600 million Swiss francs. 1300 employees work for the company with hubs in France, Singapore, the US, Brazil and Russia.
The acetate specialists are well-known for their innovative products such as filter tow for IQOS cigarettes, filter tow for super slim cigarettes, coloured or biodegradable tow. While global cigarette consumption is in decline, the application range for acetylation is not: Cerdia promotes a durable timber range under the name Accoya, licensed from the British Accsys Group: Wood acetylation alters the timber, making it more durable and reducing its ability to absorb water by approximately 80 percent. The processed wood is safe from rot, mould and fungi, yet bendable, non-toxic and 100 percent recyclable, making it applicable for façades as well as window frames or outdoor furniture.
The new positioning reflects the transformation of the company, says Philippe Rosier, CEO of Cerdia: “We chose Basel for our new corporate headquarters to transform the culture of the company from here and make Cerdia more international.” The company set up their management offices in a carefully renovated town house in Basel. Philippe Rosier: “The BaselArea.swiss team did a great job finding this wonderful location and supported us with the administrative part of the transition.” Basel not only offers Cerdia proximity to tobacco companies in Switzerland and a spot within the community of global pharma companies, but also access to the vast network of architectural firms that are settled in the area – optimal for developing the market for Accoya timber.