TER Chemicals Distribution Group

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TER Chemicals Distribution Group

legal form GmbH
founding 1908
Seat Hamburg , Germany
  • Uta Seiler (CFO),
  • Andreas Früh (CEO)
Number of employees 424
sales EUR 401.0 million
Branch chemistry

The TER Chemicals Distribution Group is a global trading company for specialty chemicals and food additives.

Office building, Hamburg

The group of companies is represented by 21 branches in 16 countries. The company was founded in Hamburg in 1908 by Hermann Theodor Anton Ter Hell. Headquarters and corporate headquarters are still in Hamburg today.

Company history

From 1908

In 1908, shortly after his return from South America, Hermann Theodor Anton Ter Hell founded the company in Hamburg, which was then known as Hermann Ter Hell (HTH). It was a trading agency based on the export of waxes and paraffins from Eastern Europe for the candle industry to South America.

In the time before the First World War, the mineral oil refineries of what was then Czechoslovakia belonged to the Danube Monarchy. Paraffin was extracted from the crude oil that was found in the then Austrian province of Galicia.

With the beginning of the First World War, the possibilities of export ended and the focus was placed on Germany and Europe. Paraffin became an increasingly well-known product and the company Hermann Ter Hell & Co (formerly HTH) grew into an international company for paraffins and waxes under the “Ter Hell Paraffin” brand.

Walter Westphal joined the company for the first time in 1936. In 1938 he took over the company after Hermann Ter Hell resigned as managing director and sold his shares because there was no successor from his family in sight. During the Second World War, the company ran into difficulties, which included the two-time destruction of the office buildings in use.

Westphal's plan, redesigned after the end of the war, enabled the company to achieve sustainable economic growth. The liberalization of world trade after 1945 offered new opportunities. Walter Westphal and his partner at the time Artur Popp made contact with a number of producers in Germany and later also abroad. These included producers such as Mobil Oil AG or Hoechst AG. After the Second World War, TER Hell not only concentrated on paraffins, but also on waxes and resins. The range of products on offer was expanded and the trade expanded to include plastics and various chemical specialties.

Since 1967

In 1967 Klaus-Christian Westphal joined the company as a managing partner. His focus was in particular on the internationalization of business relationships. The company, which was previously only based in Germany, began its internationalization in 1980. Beginning with the establishment of TER Chemicals Inc. in the USA in 1980, the subsequent establishment of TER Hong Kong four years later (1984), the subsequent acquisition of the chemical distributor Gehring-Montgomery in the USA (1990) and the establishment of the chemical distributor TER France in 1996.

In 2005 Christian A. Westphal became a partner in the TER Chemicals Distribution Group and in 2008 Managing Director. Christian A. Westphal continued to expand and continues his father's internationalization strategy to this day. In 2009 TER AS Productos SL was founded in Spain. Three years later, TER UK Ltd. was established in Great Britain. settled down. TER Italia srl ​​was founded in 2015 and since 2017 the Scandinavian countries have also been looked after locally with the establishment of TER Nordic ApS in Denmark.

In 2002 TER Chemicals took a stake in the privately owned chemical distributor HSH Chemie, which later expanded its services to 22 markets in the CEE region. After many years of cooperation, both companies aimed for a strategic realignment at the end of 2019 and have since worked in the CEE region independently of one another. Since 2002 there has been a participation in the Baltic Group St. Petersburg and Moscow.

In 2016, the existing business area of ​​ingredients for food and pet food was transferred to the specially founded TER Ingredients GmbH & Co. KG and in 2019 TER Ingredients CEE GmbH was founded.

As a continuation of the internationalization, the acquisition of the US-based company Trexan Chemicals, Inc. was announced in April 2020.

Company profile (2020)

The TER Chemicals Distribution Group is divided into seven business areas, each with their own products and assigned according to application areas.

TER Chemicals' product portfolio covers the entire range of specialty chemicals and food additives from global producers. It includes products for the application areas of Adhesive, Coating, Construction, Feed, Food, Home Care, Metal Working, Personal Care, Health Care, Plastic, Rubber and Water Chemicals. TER Chemicals offers the product portfolio through separate business areas.

International companies in the group

The TER Group is represented worldwide with 21 locations and 17 companies in a total of 16 countries.


  • TER Hell & Co. GmbH - Headquarters Hamburg (DE)
  • TER Hell & Co. GmbH - Rhein-Main (DE)
  • TER Ingredients GmbH & Co. KG (DE)
  • TER Ingredients SL (ES)
  • TER Ingredients CEE GmbH (AT)
  • TER UK LTD. (UK)
  • TER AS Portugal Unipessoal, LDA (PT)
  • TER AS Productos SL (ES)
  • TER Italia SRL (IT)
  • TER France SARL (FR)
  • TER Nordic APS (DK)


  • TER Asia Pacific LTD. (CN)
  • TER Shanghai LTD. (CN)


  • Gehring-Montgomery, Inc. (US)
  • Keim Additec Surface USA, LLC. (US)
  • Trexan Chemicals, Inc. (US)

Individual evidence

  1. TER Chemicals worldwide. October 15, 2018, accessed June 30, 2020 .
  2. At a glance. April 17, 2020, accessed June 30, 2020 .
  3. Success for 110 years. June 19, 2018, accessed June 30, 2020 .
  4. 75 years of Hermann TER Hell & Co. Accessed on June 30, 2020 (German).
  5. a b 50 years of Ter Hell. 1958, accessed on June 30, 2020 (German).
  6. a b TER Hell 1908-2008. Accessed June 30, 2020 (German).
  7. TER Hell Hamburg: The future in view. Accessed June 30, 2020 (German).
  8. At a glance. April 17, 2020, accessed June 30, 2020 .
  9. At a glance. April 17, 2020, accessed June 30, 2020 .
  10. Interview with Benjamin Lindenau in CHEManager 01/2016 about the important role of the newly founded TER INGREDIENTS for the FOOD & FEED business in Europe. June 19, 2018, accessed June 30, 2020 .
  11. At a glance. April 17, 2020, accessed June 30, 2020 .
  12. TREXAN ACQUISITION. June 19, 2018, accessed June 30, 2020 .
  13. Business areas. January 3, 2020, accessed June 30, 2020 .
  14. Products. January 21, 2020, accessed June 30, 2020 .
  15. TER Chemicals worldwide. October 15, 2018, accessed June 30, 2020 .