History

Who we are

Jungbunzlauer’s history reflects the political and economic events in Europe since the second half of the nineteenth century. These strong historical roots form a solid foundation on which the company can base its future on.

The beginning

What is now Jungbunzlauer has begun almost 150 years ago in 1867 when a young entrepreneur called Ignatz Lederer built a spirits distillery in the village of Jungbunzlau in former Bohemia. Lederer’s enterprise was put at an immediate strategic advantage by virtue of being located in the centre of Bohemian sugar industry. The economic boom, innovative technology and Lederer’s far-seeing decisions ensured that the company grew rapidly. Successes included the foundation of the “Actiengesellschaft Jungbunzlauer Spiritus und Chemische Fabrik” plant in Prague 1897 and the construction of an alcohol plant in Pernhofen, Austria, in 1901. After Ignatz Lederer passed away his sons took over and further developed their father’s flourishing business.

World War I dramatically changed the map of Europe, leading to challenges for a company with sites in a variety of countries. Yet the first time Jungbunzlauer experienced any real problems was during the Great Depression in 1933. World War II also took a toll on Jungbunzlauer – being Jewish, the Lederer family was dispossessed of their business and many of its facilities were broken up while the family members were deported or went to exile. After the war only the Austrian shares of the company could be regained. Nevertheless, the continued production of alcohol and the newly established production of citric acid in particular formed the basis of a successful post-war entrepreneurial restart.

Following the acquisition by Karl Kahane (Montana AG) in 1967 significant investments were made in research and production capacity in order to meet the fermentation’s technological requirements. The following years saw profits and capacity steadily increase while the number of employees also continued to rise. To this day the company has not only continued to invest in manufacturing procedures but also extended its product portfolio to a broad range of fermentation and specialty products.

Towards a sustainable future

Due to the growing market the Pernhofen plant was expanded to produce on a global scale and started the manufacture of xanthan gum in the 1980s. In 1988, the company acquired Benckiser’s Organic Acid Division in Ladenburg, Germany, and added sodium gluconate to its product portfolio. In order to meet the growing need for raw materials the company built an other plant in Marckolsheim, France which has been producing sodium gluconate since 1996 and, as the product portfolio has grown, also erythritol, lactic acid and lactates.

Proximity to raw materials in production and main markets has always been one of the company’s strengths. In response to the increasing global demand for citric acid Jungbunzlauer built its fourth plant, located in Port Colborne, Canada, and started to supply the North and Latin American markets in 2002.

Jungbunzlauer has established itself as one of the world’s leading suppliers within its business fields. Today, the company employs around 1'050 people globally with four manufacturing plants and numerous sales offices all over the world ensuring prompt service. The company is owned by the Kahane family whose heirs and shareholders carry out the interest of the company as members of the Board of Directors.

Timeline

1867 Spirits distillery founded in Jung Bunzlau (50 km northeast of Prague)
1901 Construction of an alcohol plant in Pernhofen, Austria
1962 Start of citric acid production in Pernhofen, Austria
1986 Start of xanthan gum production in Pernhofen, Austria
1988 Acquisition of Benckiser's Organic Acid Division in Ladenburg, Germany
1996 Start of sodium gluconate production in Marckolsheim, France
1998 Start of the citrate ester plant in Ladenburg, Germany
Start of glucono-delta-lactone production in Marckolsheim, France
2000 Start of tricalcium citrate production in Ladenburg, Germany
2002 Start of citric acid production in Port Colborne, Canada
2005 Start of erythritol production in Marckolsheim, France
2008 Construction of a glucose plant in Pernhofen, Austria
2011 Start of lactic acid and lactates production in Marckolsheim, France