Skip Navigation

Company History Burnus Group

1836
Like a number of firms of this type, the Burnus GmbH grew out of a soap and candle-making company August Jacobi had originally established under his own name as a small handicraft business in Landwehrstraße in Darmstadt in 1836. During the following decades the business developed into a soap factory.
1907
Also in Landwehrstraße, the Swabian chemist Dr. Otto Röhm is working with tannery chemicals in the Röhm und Haas firm, established in 1907. He is the first to use enzymes he extracted from cow stomachs for tanning. His wife originally has the idea that substances which are capable of dissolving fat in animal skins should also be suitable as a stain-remover for laundry. Otto Röhm picks up on this idea.
1914
Otto Röhm applies for a patent for the first enzymatic detergent. The name he gives it, BURNUS, is the German word for the white attire worn in Arabic countries. The product is first introduced in the form of tablets.
1916
The Röhm und Haas firm purchases the soap factory, now called August Jacobi and Son, as a production plant for detergents. Röhm and Haas become the sole distributors of BURNUS.
1920
The company August Jacobi and Son is restructured as August Jacobi AG and takes over the distribution of Burnus. The company also produces soaps and soap cake coolers.
1924
Following his invention of plexiglas, Otto Röhm lost interest in Burnus and turns the distribution over to the company Fattingerin Berlin, which is a subsidiary of the Scheidemantel conglomerate.
1925
As the distribution through Fattinger proves to be a failure, resulting in significant turnover losses, it is returned to the August Jacobi AG. This company has in the meantime become engaged in road construction, also with patented processes, and builds road construction machinery, in addition to cooling appliances.
1931
The detrimental effect of the worldwide recession is also making itself felt at the August Jacobi AG. Under its managing director Friedrich Groß, the company divests itself from all its loss-making business areas and is reorganized in order to concentrate its activities exclusively on the production of detergent under the brand name BURNUS.
1937
The August Jacobi AG is renamed the BURNUS AG.
1938
The Burnus AG is converted into the limited company BURNUS GmbH, the name it is still operating under today.
1948
All the production facilities of the Burnus GmbH are dismantled and removed by the Allied Forces.
The production of Burnus products is hence moved to the Worms production facility of the parent company, which is now operating under the name Röhm GmbH. The company's product range is continually expanded in the following years by products such as BURMAT, a general-purpose detergent, BURTI, a mild-action detergent for delicate fabrics, and the hand washing paste TUPPIX. But Burnus is also engaged in the professional detergent sector and market launches TEXASEPT, the first chemo-thermic disinfectant general-purpose detergent. Further developments and markets follow.
1976
Burnus acquires the company Snoek in Worblingen (in the Constance district), which is engaged in the body care sector with its GLYSOLID brand. The Worblingen factory is part of the Burnus Group to this day and still produces the Glysolid products.
1984
Burnus acquires the company Sodenta in Bad Soden (Tanus) with its AROSANA brand.
1997
The Röhm GmbH has meanwhile been absorbed by the Veba AG (now EON). As Veba no longer regards detergents and body care products as one of their main fields of activity, the Burnus GmbH is sold to the EFK Beteiligungs KG, which is owned by three families from Darmstadt.
1998
Burnus acquires the former Blendax brands KAMILL, LITAMIN, CLIFF and CREDO from Procter & Gamble.
1999
Establishment of the Burnus AG, Solothurn (Switzerland), BURNUS GmbH, Vienna (Austria), and Burnus Polska z.o.o., Warsaw (Poland). The Swiss body care product line SIBONET is purchased from Henkel in the same year.
2000
Establishment of a non-independent subsidiary in Jeddah (Saudi Arabia).
2002
Establishment of the Burnus-Glysolid srl., Cremona (Italy).
2003
Establishment of a representative office in Moscow (Russia). Acquisition of the Austrian soap brand HIRSCH from Unilever.
2004
Takeover of all shares in the Hychem GmbH in Steinau (Main-Kinzing District), a producer and distributor of professional detergents (25% market share in Germany) which developed out of the Jean P. Haas soap and candle-making works, founded in 1831 in Offenbach.
2005
Takeover of all shares in the Ernst Zeiss Wäscherei-Vertriebs GmbH in Mannheim.
Establishment of a representative office in Bombay (India).
2006
Change of name of the Hychem GmbH into BurnusHychem GmbH.
Establishment of a representative office in Dubai (United Arab Emirates).