Borden Chemical, Inc.

Borden, Inc., was a United States food and beverage producer, as well as a producer of industrial and consumer products. At one time, the corporation was the biggest American producer of pasta and dairy items. Its food division, based in Columbus, Ohio was called Borden Foods, and was focused primarily on pasta, ice cream, jams, jellies, cheese, snacks and bakery products. It was most well known for Meadow Gold Milk, Borden Ice Cream, Creamette pasta, and Condensed Milk. Its industrial segment manufactured resins, plastics, wallpaper and adhesives.

After considerable financial loss in the early 1990s and a 1995 buyout, Borden split itself into numerous businesses, brands and divisions. The Borden dairy brands are now used by both Grupo Lala and Dean Foods, as well as by Dairy Farmers of America.

In 1929, Borden became a holding company, and in 1936, its operations were re-unified and subsidiaries became distinct divisions. Borden began to manufacture PVC, fertilizer and printing ink in the 1950s, and by the 1960s, it was manufacturing seven percent of all the United States’ raw PVC. At the end of the 1960s, Borden’s international petroleum and chemical branches had expanded so much that they decided to create the Borden International Management Division.

In 2004, Apollo Management purchased Borden Chemical from KKR. A merger then took place with Borden Chemical, Resolution Specialty Materials, Resolution Performance Products and Bakelite AG, to form Hexion Specialty Chemicals. The merger was settled in 2005, and Hexion took control of the Borden name and Elsie the Cow trademarks, which they will have rights to until the mid 2010s.

Currently, Borden Chemical, Inc.’s North American Forest Products manufactures formaldehyde and forest product resins.  It is the largest producer of formaldehyde in the world.  The North American Performance Resins Group division is responsible for oilfield, foundry, and specialty resins. These resins are used to coat other materials necessary during manufacturing processes, as well as in the creation of products from building panels to laminate veneers to automotive brakes.

For the manufacturing of resins and plastics, as well as certain food products, Borden operates numerous chemical plants across the country.  Unfortunately, many of these plants were constructed during a time when asbestos was used as an insulating material.  Because asbestos fibers may stay in the lungs permanently, employees who worked in chemical plants years ago may still be suffering the ill health effects of the substance.