The origins of the Company date back to 1927, when the four Aerospace entrepreneurs Louis Paulhan, Enea Bossi, Robert Deté and Pierre Prier founded Société Continentale Parker in Clichy (France) based on a license for anticorrosive treatments obtained from Parker Rust-Proof in Detroit ("Parkerizing").
In 1930, Continentale Parker signed a distributor agreement with Udylite and began selling bright cyanide Cadmium in Europe, one of the early processes of electroplating.
During World War II, the British Company EFCO became the official distributor of Parker-Rustproof and Udylite for Europe. Continentale Parker initiated the same distribution through EFCO after the war. During this period, the bright Nickel market (later known as our CRYSTAL Nickel series) was rapidly developing and the company gained success in the automotive industry for bumpers, grills and emblems.
Due to the association with Sel-Rex of Nutley (NJ) in the 60's, Continentale Parker became a specialist of precious metals as well. In 1965, Metallgesellschaft AG of Germany acquired the majority of the Stock in Continentale Parker and integrated it into its Specialty Chemicals arm, Chemetall GmbH.
Continentale Parker had begun its own R&D in the late 60's and started to promote its processes in the early 1970's (common metals such as CUBRAC Copper and CRYSTAL Nickel) and (precious metals such as PARADOR, EPIDOR, AURANE Gold, PALLIUM Palladium and SILVIUM Silver) - a right choice since the distribution of Sel-Rex and Udilyte was lost in the 70's.
The 1980's saw steady growth of the Electroplating Division. At the end of that decade, the automotive industry launched a revolution in the corrosion protection that started first in Germany. The specifications and performance requirements for zinc electroplating were increased dramatically. For example, in an accelerated corrosion test designed to mimic environmental exposure, the target hours for Neutral Salt Spray Test ISO 9227 increased from 96 hours before red rust in 1969 up to 200 h in 1985 and then 720 hours in 2002.
The protective market grew significantly during this period and Chemetall Plating Technologies led the French market due to a new strategy. Corrosion protection would be enhanced by combining layers of friction modifiers, corrosion resistant zinc or zinc alloy films and self healing films.
The first new top-coat, FINIGARD was created to work on top of PRIMION zinc and PERFORMA zinc alloys and FINIDIP high protection chromates, delivering optimum corrosion performance and good mechanical properties after thermal shock at 120°C.
Soon thereafter Metallgesellschaft expanded the scope of the Chemetall Group worldwide. Continentale Parker became Chemetall France in 1998 and the Electroplating Division of Continentale Parker was renamed Chemetall Plating Technologies.
In 2000, Coventya was formed through the acquisition of the Chemetall Plating Business Unit by key managers and a Private Equity Company.
In 2006 and 2007, various environmental regulations provided Coventya with an opportunity to focus on green technology and capitalize on new products to meet these demands. Whereas competition saw barriers, Coventya saw potential. The European Directive on the End of Life of Vehicle (ELV) within EC and the Directives on Restriction of usage of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) and on Waste of Electronic and Electrical Equipment (WEEE) entered into force. These new regulations pushed the Plating Industry to withdraw the use of hexavalent Chromium (CrVI), Cadmium (Cd) and Lead (Pb). In the Automotive, Electronics and Electrical Industries all suppliers moved away from their former specifications and adopted the upgraded version of the corrosion protection with the LANTHANE Cr(III) passivates.
In functional plating, the new generation of Cd and Pb free ENOVA electroless nickel replaced many former technologies and became the standard products that were just as easy to use. In decorative Chrome plating, there is a trend to move away from Cr(VI) containing electrolytes and for this reason CHROME 300 trivalent chromium (CrIII) grew rapidly.
COVENTYA accelerated its international growth through acquisition of several well respected European and American suppliers, inter alia:
- Barattini (1989), Italy
- Polar (1993), Italy
- Weiland (1996), Germany
- Folke Stigen (2001), Sweden
- CGT Auromet (2002), Italy
- CGL (2003), Brazil
- Sirius Technologies (2004), USA
- Taskem (2007), USA
These additions not only broadened the geographical scope of the group but added new technological competences in Decoration, Precious Metals and Functional.
In parallel its technology leadership was strengthened by significantly increasing its R&D capacity. Today, Coventya has six Research and Development centers, located in Germany, France, Italy and the USA, each with a specific purpose related to the strength of its local industries.
In just over 6 years, the size of COVENTYA had more than doubled when French Investment Bank Natixis took over the role of majority Shareholder in 2006 via a Secondary Management Buy Out.