ICL’s history begins in the early 20th century with the first efforts to extract minerals from the Dead Sea in Israel’s South. After Israel’s independence in 1948, this activity continued with the establishment of Dead Sea Works Ltd., a state-owned company. During the early fifties several other government-owned companies were created to extract minerals from the Negev Desert and to transform them into chemical products. In 1975, ICL expanded through the consolidation of these companies, including Rotem Amfert Negev, Bromine Compounds and TAMI (IMI), ICL’s research arm. ICL also grew through organic growth and acquisitions.
In 1992, the Israeli government began its privatization of ICL, first by listing 19% of its shares on the Tel-Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE). In 1995, the State of Israel sells its controlling interest (24.9% of the Company’s equity) to Israel Corp., then controlled by the Eisenberg family. In 1997, Israel Corp. acquired an additional 17% of ICL’s shares, and a year later – another 10%. Also in 1998, the State sold 12% of ICL’s shares to the general public, as well as 9% to Potash Corp.
In the late 1990’s, the Ofer Group acquired control of Israel Corp., including ICL. During the past decade and a half, ICL has expanded significantly, primarily by increasing its production capacity and global distribution, establishing regional offices and joint ventures, and through synergistic acquisitions.
Today, ICL is a global powerhouse in fertilizers and specialty chemicals, fulfilling essential needs in three core end markets – Agriculture, Food and Engineered Materials by utilizing an integrated value chain based on specialty minerals.
2013: ICL implements its broad-based “Next Step Forward” strategy aimed at creating a more balanced, integrated and efficient company focused on specialty end markets. The strategy includes three strategic ‘pillars’ including growth initiatives, efficiency programs and cross-organizational enabling platforms. The strategy is designed to strengthen and enrich ICL’s resource base – mineral resources, processing know-how market positioning and logistical and organizational capabilities – while increasing ICL’s efficiency and lowering its costs.