MilliporeSigma is an American chemical, life science, and biotechnology company owned by the German chemical conglomerate Merck Group.

Merck / MilliporeSigma
Typesubsidiary of Merck KGaA
Nasdaq: SIAL
Industrychemistry and biotechnology
FoundedAugust 1975
HeadquartersBurlington, MA, United States
Key people
Matthias Heinzel (Life Science CEO)
Productslife science technologies and specialty chemicals
RevenueEUR€ 6.86 billion (2020)[2]
Number of employees
more than 20,000
ParentMerck KGaA (100%)[3]

Sigma-Aldrich was created in 1975 by the merger of Sigma Chemical Company and Aldrich Chemical Company. It grew through various acquisitions until it had over 9,600 employees and was listed on the Fortune 1000. The company is headquartered in St. Louis and has operations in approximately 40 countries.[4]

In 2015, the German chemical conglomerate Merck Group acquired Sigma-Aldrich for $17 billion.[5] The company is currently a part of Merck's life science business and in combination with Merck's earlier acquired Millipore, operates as MilliporeSigma.[6][7]


Sigma Chemical Company of St. Louis and Aldrich Chemical Company of Milwaukee were both American specialty chemical companies when they merged in August 1975. The company grew throughout the 1980s and 1990s, with significant expansion in facilities, acquisitions and diversification into new market sectors.

Early history

  • 1935 – Midwest Consultants was founded in St Louis by brothers Aaron and Bernard Fischer, who hired chemical engineer Daniel Broida.[8]
    • 1946 – Sigma was formed from Midwest Consultants and manufactured just adenosine triphosphate. They were the first to manufacture pure ATP.[9]
    • 1972 – Sigma's IPO[10]
  • 1951 – Aldrich founded in Milwaukee by Alfred Bader and Jack Eisendrath and manufactured just 1-methyl-3-nitro-1-nitrosoguanidine.
    • 1966 – Aldrich's IPO[11]
    • 1972 – Subsidiary Aldrich-Boranes launched to manufacture hydroboration products
  • 1975 – Merger of Sigma Chemical and Aldrich Chemical to created Sigma-Aldrich.[12] Their first year earned $43 million in sales.[13]
  • 1999 – Sigma-Aldrich reaches $1 billion in sales
  • 2005 – Announced membership in The RNAi Consortium[14]
  • 2014 – Merck KGaA announced that it would purchase Sigma-Aldrich for approx. $17 billion (€13.1 billion).[15][16]
  • November 3, 2014 – Sigma-Aldrich filed a definitive proxy statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to hold a special investors meeting regarding approval for the sale to Merck KGaA.[17]


  • 1978 – Makor Chemicals


  • 1984 – Pathfinder
  • 1986 – Bio Yeda, Bristol Organics
  • 1989 – Fluka Chemie AG (Swiss company founded in the 1950s) purchased for $39 million.


  • 1993 – Supelco, Inc. acquired to enter the chromatography market
  • 1994 – LabKemi AB
  • 1997 – Research Biochemicals International, Riedel-de-Haen, Techcares Systems, Carbolabs, YA Kemia
  • 1998 – Genosys


  • 2000 – First Medical Inc., Amelung GmbH, ARK Scientific
  • 2001 – ISOTEC (produces stable isotopes used in basic research and medical diagnostics)[18]
  • 2004 – Ultrafine (a supplier of contract manufacturing services for drug development), Tetrionics (a producer of high potency and cytotoxic active pharmaceutical ingredients)[19]
  • 2005 – JRH Biosciences,[20] an industrial supplier of cell culture products for the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries; Proligo Group, a global supplier of genomics research tools
  • 2006 – Beijing Superior Chemicals,[21] Iropharm, Pharmorphix,[22] Advanced Separation Technologies[23] (manufacturer of products for chiral chromatography)
  • 2007 – Epichem[24] acquired to expand capabilities in materials sciences and semiconductor markets; Molecular Medicine BioServices acquired to provide large-scale viral manufacturing capabilities; announced alliance with Sangamo BioSciences to develop zinc finger-based laboratory research reagents
  • 2009 – ChemNavigator
  • 2010 – Cerilliant Corporation, ACE Animals
  • 2011 – Resource Technology Corp, Vetec Quimica Fina
  • 2012 – Research Organics Inc., BioReliance (a toxicology and veterinary diagnostics company);[25] BioReliance had previously been acquired by Invitrogen and subsequently sold to Avista Capital Partners.[26]
  • 2014 – Cell Marque[27]
  • 2015 – Combined with EMD Millipore to make MilliporeSigma.

Key numbers

Key numbers for Sigma-Aldrich.[28]


  • $2.79 billion (2014)


  • 100,000 chemical products (46,000 manufactured)
  • 30,000 laboratory equipment products


  • Approximately one million individual customers worldwide
  • 88,000 accounts

Geographies (% of 2008 sales):

  • United States 35%
  • Europe 43%
  • Canada, Asia Pacific, Latin America 22%


The Aldrich Logo.

Aldrich is a supplier in the research and fine chemicals market. Aldrich provides organic and inorganic chemicals, building blocks, reagents, advanced materials and stable isotopes for chemical synthesis, medicinal chemistry and materials science. Aldrich's chemicals catalog, the "Aldrich Catalog and Handbook" is often used as a handbook due to the inclusion of structures, physical data, and literature references.

The Sigma Logo.

Sigma is the Sigma-Aldrich's main biochemical supplier, with offerings including antibiotics, buffers, carbohydrates, enzymes, forensic tools, hematology and histology, nucleotides, proteins, peptides, amino acids and their derivatives.

The Sigma RBI Logo.

Sigma RBI produces specialized products for use in the field of cell signaling and neuroscience. Their offerings range from standard biochemical reagents to specialized research tools, including ligands for receptors and ion channels, enzyme inhibitors, phosphospecific antibodies, key signal transduction enzymes, and assay kits for cell signaling.

The ISOTEC Logo.

ISOTEC provides isotopically labeled products for protein structure determination, peptide synthesis, proteomics, metabolic research, magnetic resonance imaging, nuclear magnetic resonance, breath test substrates, agriculture, as well as gas and gas mixes.

The Riedel-de Haën Logo.

Riedel-de Haën was incorporated with Sigma-Aldrich in 1999 and manufactures reagents and standards.

The Supelco Logo.

Supelco is the chromatography products branch of Sigma-Aldrich. It provides chromatography columns and related tools for environmental, government, food and beverage, pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical and chemical laboratories; sample preparation products and chemical reference standards.

The SAFC Logo.

Sigma-Aldrich Fine Chemicals (SAFC) is the fine chemical supply branch of Sigma-Aldrich specializing in raw materials for cell culture products; customized services for raw materials, manufacturing of active pharmaceutical ingredients.

Sigma Life Science provides products such as custom DNA/RNA oligos; custom DNA and LNA probes; siRNA; isotopically-labelled peptides and peptide libraries.

Sigma Advanced Genetic Engineering (SAGE) Labs is a division within Sigma-Aldrich that specializes in genetic manipulation of in vivo systems for special research and development applications. It was formed in 2008 to investigate zinc finger nuclease technology and its application for disease research models. Located in St. Louis, Missouri, SAGE Labs have developed knockout rats for the study of human diseases and disorders (such as autism), which are sold for up to US$95,000. SAGE also announced its first successful effort in creating a "knockout rabbit".[30] Its facilities include a specific pathogen free, biosecure vivarium as well as research and development labs.

Carbolabs produces research quantities of chemicals produced by phosgenation reactions. The company was acquired in 1998.[31]

BioReliance provides testing and manufacturing services to pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical companies that span the product cycle from early pre-clinical development to licensed production. The company was acquired by Sigma Aldrich in January 2012.

Current leadership

Matthias Heinzel became CEO of the Life Science business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany in April 2021 following Udit Batra's departure from company. [32]


  1. Vit, Armin (October 15, 2015). "Good Vibrations". Brand New. UnderConsideration.
  2. Annual Report 2020 (PDF) (Report). EMD Group, part of Merck KGaA. 2020. Archived from the original (PDF) on August 13, 2022.
  3. "Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, Completes Sigma-Aldrich Acquisition" (XBRL). Merck. November 18, 2015.
  4. "Sigma-Aldrich Corporation – Investor Relations".
  5. ""Sigma-Aldrich, Merck KGaA Press Release, 22 Sept. 2014" (PDF).
  6. "Customer Letter". Archived from the original on February 8, 2016. Retrieved January 4, 2016.
  7. About Us, EMD Millipore + Sigma-Aldrich = MilliporeSigma, The life science business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany
  8. "80 Humble Beginnings for a Great Company".
  9. "80 Years Fueling Scientific Discovery".
  10. "80 Years Fueling Scientific Discovery".
  11. "80 Years Fueling Scientific Discovery".
  12. "Funding Universe History of Sigma-Aldrich Corporation". Funding-Universe.
  13. "80 Years Fueling Scientific Discovery".
  14. "Sigma-Aldrich".
  15. Ludwig Burger (September 22, 2014). "Germany's Merck to buy Sigma-Aldrich for $17 billion to boost lab supplies operation". Reuters. Retrieved September 23, 2014.
  16. Staff (October 15, 2014). "Merck KGaA to Acquire Sigma-Aldrich for $17B". Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News. p. 10.
  17. "Sigma-Aldrich Corporation Announces Filing Of Definitive Proxy Statement And Date Of Special Meeting Of Stockholders". Acquire Media. Archived from the original on December 28, 2014. Retrieved November 3, 2014.
  18. "Sigma-Aldrich Corp acquires Isotec Inc from Taiyo Nippon Sanso Corp".
  19. "Sigma-Aldrich Corp acquires Ultrafine".
  20. "Sigma-Aldrich Corp acquires JRH Biosciences Inc from CSL Ltd".
  21. "Sigma-Aldrich Corp acquires Beijing Superior Chem & Instr".
  22. "Sigma-Aldrich Corp acquires Pharmorphix Ltd".
  23. "Sigma-Aldrich Corp acquires Advanced Separation Tech Inc from Calgon Carbon Corp".
  24. "Sigma-Aldrich Corp acquires Epichem Group Ltd".
  25. "Sigma-Aldrich to buy BioReliance Hldgs for $350M", News, Bioscience Technology, Associated Press, January 9, 2012, retrieved January 11, 2012
  26. Invitrogen Completes Divestiture of BioReliance (press release), Life Technologies, April 12, 2007, archived from the original on March 30, 2012, retrieved January 11, 2012
  27. "80 Years Fueling Scientific Discovery".
  28. "SIGMA ALDRICH CORP (10-K), Consolidated Statements of Income" (XBRL). United States Securities and Exchange Commission. February 12, 2015.
  29. "Sigma-Aldrich Corporate Fact Sheet" (PDF).
  30. "SAGE's Latest Knockout: $95,000 Lab Rats". Fast Company.
  31. "Carbolabs purchased". ICIS.
  32. "Executive board changes at Germany's Merck". Retrieved April 2, 2021.

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