The Connell Bros. Company of today results from of over 100 years of teamwork,
driven by a passion for trade. What started as a bold move by J.J. Connell
to take up a bank’s offer to liquidate a cargo of distressed flour
in Hong Kong in the 1890’s, has grown and flourished into a highly respected
leader in the distribution of specialty chemicals and food ingredients.
With over a century of doing business in Asia and the Pacific Rim, every
Connell Bros. location understands the significance of local traditions,
customs and needs.
Here's a quick look at our company history:
J.J. Connell takes up a distressed cargo of flour, offered for
liquidation in Hong Kong. The deal is successful. Connell Bros. is in business.
First overseas office opened in Yokohama, Japan. Principal activities
are flour trading. Other Connell offices are opened in quick succession
in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Manila.
The business continues to grow, as Connell Bros. becomes a
reputed brand in the Orient. It now trades in condensed milk, and fresh
fruits from California in addition to flour. With a second aggressive
push in 1914, more offices are opened in Tientsin and Harbin in China,
as well as in Singapore. Post World War I, Connell Bros. weathers the
worldwide economic crisis, mainly due to its strong market credibility.
After M.J. Connell’s death in 1925, J.J. Connell offers
the company for sale. Wilbur-Ellis Company, an expanding import export
house takes over principal stock in Connell Brothers, Co. in 1931.
The company diversifies and expands considerably after this. It now trades in industrial chemicals as well as semi-manufactured goods in the Orient.
World War II results in cessation of company activities. Post-war, Connell
Bros. emerges stronger, opening more offices. The company emerges as a
leading supplier in the Orient in the years of dismantling of the Colonial
empire in Asia. These were also the years of rapid industrialization in
the Americas, which remain the premier source of supply for the distribution
These are expansion years for Connell Bros. In Asia, the CBC
name is synonymous with imports from the West. It emerges as a trusted
and reliable distributor for U.S. manufacturers- providing them much
needed infrastructure to expand their markets. Chemicals start to form a major
portion of trade activities.
These are years of consolidation and refocus for Connell Bros.
The company makes a strategic shift to distribution of chemical specialties.
CBC is now a distributor of choice for manufacturers of chemicals in
North America. Its employee profile reflects the changing times as
it builds on technical selling expertise. In another emphatic push
in that direction, it acquires Express Chemicals in Malaysia- a well-known distributor of latex in the region.
CBC continues to grow organically as well as through acquisitions.
At the same time it remains privately held and completely focused on
being a premier specialty chemicals distributor. The company acquires
Barnett Chemicals in Australia in 2003, followed by Polygon Transchem
of Australia in 2004. This gives the company a strong presence in the Australasia chemical industry.
2005 sees one more distribution company added to the CBC stable-Material
Resources in the Philippines. CBC also establishes a new JV, PT Cahaya Bumi
Cemerlang, to focus on the Personal care & household care industries in Indonesia. CBC acquires
a controlling stake in Gulf Chemicals in 2006. Gulf is Malaysia’s
leading Food Ingredients distributor. This synergy gives access to Gulf
for furthering it’s
markets in Asia, it also adds world class suppliers to CBC’s Food
With a colorful history of
innovation, partnership with multinational distributors, a strong US
base, we have grown organically as well as strategically – all
to better serve our customers. We are truly Asia Pacific’s leading Multinational distributor.