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Vantage Performance Materials History

Vantage Performance Materials, formerly Lambent Technologies, was founded in 1952 as Hodag Chemical with a manufacturing facility in Skokie, Illinois.  Calgene Inc. purchased Hodag Chemical in 1992 and renamed it Calgene Chemical.  In 1997, Monsanto purchased Calgene Inc. and in 1998 sold Calgene Chemical to Petroferm Inc. who renamed it Lambent Technologies. Throughout its history and name changes, Vantage Performance Materials remains a reputable manufacturer of oleochemical derivatives, such as esters, alkoxylates, antifoams and specialty blends.

In the early 2000’s, demand for Lambent products outpaced the Skokie plant’s manufacturing capacity.  In response to this increased demand, Lambent purchased a manufacturing facility in Gurnee, Illinois from BASF in July 2003.  The Gurnee facility was strategically selected based of its close proximity to the Skokie facility and its nearly identical manufacturing capabilities.  The Gurnee site was constructed in 1970 and operated until 1986 as Mazer Chemical.  The facility was sold in 1986 to PPG who proceeded to upgrade many aspects of the operations until selling the plant to BASF in 1998.  BASF continued making significant capital improvements to the facility until selling the Gurnee plant to Petroferm in 2003.  By 2005, Lambent moved all production to the Gurnee facility and closed the Skokie facility.  Petroferm continued to invest capital in the Gurnee facility to maintain and improve safety, quality, efficiencies and capacity.

Due to our rapid growth, Lambent was acquired by HIG Capital in 2008 and became a part of the newly formed Vantage Specialty Chemicals.  HIG’s investment was integral for Lambent’s continued growth as we were able to expand our production capacities and hire of R&D scientists to bolster our innovation efforts.  In addition to HIG’s support, Lambent gained a new supply partner for industrial grade fatty acids in Vantage Oleochemicals, which facilitated new growth in the industrial side of the surfactant market.

Today, the Vantage Specialty Chemicals group of companies are owned by The Jordan Company who continues to invest and support our strategic growth efforts.

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