1961 The quintessential salesman, E.T. “Jack” Horn decided to make a personal mark in the industry after the company he worked for relinquished distribution to the industrial market. He took over the industrial accounts and started his own business in 1961. Jack possessed an entrepreneurial spirit that resonated throughout his company and beyond. Shortly after the E.T. Horn Company was born, Jack and Gene Alley together built the company to set the standard for trust and transparency in the world of chemical distribution. This new industry concept laid the foundation for building partnerships that paved the way in revolutionizing the distribution business model.
1961 E.T. “Jack” Horn established The E.T. Horn Company on April 1, 1961 as a distributor for principal supplier, Crosby Chemical. Six months after it opened its doors, Gene Alley joined the company as a salesman.
1968 The E.T. Horn Company acquired Chemical Additives in 1968, and moved the company headquarters and warehouse from Los Angeles to La Mirada, Calif. in December 1969. In its early years, The E.T. Horn Company primarily served customers in the coatings industry and its location was a prime spot for offering sales support to the plethora of coating manufacturers based in Southern California and along the West Coast.
1971 In 1971, The E.T. Horn Company expanded into Northern California through the acquisition of specialty chemical distribution company, E.M. Walls. The company employed 20 people by its 10-year anniversary.
1975 Patrick Marantette joined the company in 1975.
1978 Expanding its portfolio, The E.T. Horn Company acquired FAIA Sales in 1978, which became the foundation for its food industry business. Gene Alley was named president this year and by 1979, the company established the Food/Nutraceuticals Ingredients Group and earned its appointment as a distributor for Grain Processing Corp.
1981 In 1981, Pat Marantette was named executive vice president. This same year, The E.T. Horn Company became a member of the National Association of Chemical Distributors (NACD) and committed to its standards of responsible distribution and product stewardship. The company further established its industry commitment by hiring a full-time regulatory manager in 1986.
1986 By 1986, 50 people were employed by The E.T. Horn Company. After 25 years of establishing the company as a premier distributor of specialty ingredients and raw materials, Jack sold The E.T. Horn Company to Dutch trading company, Van Ommeren Ceteco Group. Shortly after in 1987, Jack passed away and the company continued to operate under the leadership of Gene as president and Pat as executive vice president.
1991 Van Ommeren planned to sell The E.T. Horn Company, but gave Gene and Pat the first right-of-sale. Staying true to its entrepreneurial spirit, The E.T. Horn Company employees joined Gene and Pat in purchasing the company from Van Ommeren in 1991, and it became an employee-owned business. The year 1991 also marked the year that Gene became the company chief executive officer while Pat was named president.
1995 The E.T. Horn Company reorganized its business in 1995 and created four distinctive sales groups – Coatings, Elastomers and Composites, FoodTech and Nutraceuticals.
1998 California voters approved Proposition 65 in 1986, changing the game for the chemical distribution industry. Company employees Steve Lester and Dave Hays identified a business venture to build a granulation plant that supplies granulated calcium carbonate to the West Coast. In 1998, Nutri Granulations was established and became the economic and environmental solution in better serving West Coast customers.
2002 The E.T. Horn Company broke $100 million in sales in 2002. It acquired Thomas Chemical in 2004, establishing the company’s formal cosmetic and personal care business. The company employed 107 people by 2007.
2003 The company continually expanded and established a national accounts program with two major paint companies in 2003 and 2006, naming The E.T. Horn Company as their exclusive specialty supplier in the U.S.
2006 As a gateway to the Southwest territory, The E.T. Horn Company acquired Polymatrix International in 2006. The acquisition was successful and later brought in more than 20 percent of the company’s revenue.
2008 In 2008, The E.T. Horn Company established Fragrance West upon acquiring assets of Belmay West. Fragrance West is the only fully-operational fragrance laboratory and manufacturer on the West Coast, creating aromas for perfumes, colognes and personal care products, among others.
2008 The E.T. Horn Company reached $200 million in sales in 2008.
2009 As company growth continued, The E.T. Horn Company reorganized into three distinct divisions – Industrial, Ingredients and Nutraceuticals, with five diversified business units and two manufacturing companies in 2009. A board of directors was also established to collectively provide strategic direction for the company. Members of the board included Gene, Pat, Julie Wubbena, Jeff Martin, Bob Ahn, Kevin Salerno and Mike Zarkades.
2010 In 2010, The E.T. Horn Company formed the Animal Wellness group to fill the need of specialty ingredients distribution in an underrepresented market. This year, the company employed 150 people.
2011 The E.T. Horn Company celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2011, rebranded as HORN and moved its headquarters to Canary Avenue in La Mirada. This move consolidated its buildings and doubled its warehouse space for increased capabilities, specialty storage and railway access of bulk distribution.
2012 Fragrance West, a HORN company, acquired Monarch Fragrances in 2012, to offer customers a broader range of fragrance options and finished product solutions.
2013 In 2013, HORN broadened its business capabilities and added a dry packaging facility to its portfolio. The company employed 200 people by 2013.
2014 Gene Alley retired as HORN CEO in October 2014, but still served on the board as CEO Emeritus. On May 23, 2015, Gene Alley passed away in his San Clemente home surrounded by Lorraine, his wife of 64 years, and their family.
2015 Further developing its presence in the Southwest, HORN purchased a 150,000 sq. ft. warehouse in Dallas in 2015. Taking another entrepreneurial stance in serving its diverse industries, HORN expanded its value-added capabilities beyond dry packaging by establishing HS Services in 2015 to offer customized solutions for specialized business needs. Under HS Services, HORN ventured into public warehousing and logistics, and other business solutions.
2016 In an effort to maximize opportunities through existing partnerships and further strengthen its foothold in current markets, HORN reorganized its distribution business structure in 2016. HORN’s six existing distribution business units now operated under three core distribution divisions – Industrial, Human Nutrition and Specialties.
2018 IMCD, a global leader in the distribution of specialty chemicals and food ingredients, acquired HORN in August 2018.