The chemist Luis Alomar in collaboration with David y Torres, one of the largest distributors of Spanish laboratory material established the company FEROSA; Spanish Manufacturer of Organic Reagents, Inc. with headquarters in Barcelona, Spain.

In 1954 FEROSA was acquired by Paul Scharlau, a second generation German living in Spain, who had previously obtained the agency for the German laboratory chemicals company, Dr. Theodor Schuchardt. As well as importing Schuchardt reagents, FEROSA developed chemical purification processes and began manufacturing some chemicals sold under the Schuchardt brand. The main objective of the company was to offer an alternative to imported products equal in quality, and readily available at better prices, as Spain at that time, was a country with high import tariffs.

In 1970 the German firm Schuchardt was sold to Merck-Darmstadt and therefore FEROSA was obliged to stop using the brand name Schuchardt. As a result, FEROSA decided to market its laboratory chemicals under a new brand name, Scharlau, in 1971.

After the death of Mr Paul Scharlau, in 1980, his son Werner Scharlau took over the business. In order to clearly segregate the business of manufacturing and the distribution business, a new company was formed in 1981; Reactivos Scharlau which set about selling Scharlau brand reagents as well as other products to the same market in Spain. The Company focused on providing high purity solvents and launched a HPLC solvents line in 1982. This new strategy marked the beginning of an era of growth, first in Spain and later in Europe. Just one year after the entry of Spain into the Common Market, the Company was exporting its solvents throughout Europe.

In order to develop from being solely a manufacturing company to a laboratory reagents company a strategy to increase significantly the number of chemicals available in the catalogue began. The new product portfolio allowed the company to build a global distribution network with a presence in over 120 countries.

In 1991 FEROSA acquired a Spanish company manufacturing dehydrated culture media for microbiology. In 1993 the first edition of the catalogue for culture media is published and export of these products begins. With regard to the Spanish market, Reactivos Scharlau decided to become a distributor of Laboratory Supplies. It was organized into five major product categories: Chemistry, Microbiology, Chromatography, Consumables and Safety equipment. The widespread improvement in logistics in Spain helped Scharlau Reagents to become one of the leading distributors of laboratory supplies in Spain. The catalogue was completed a few years later, with the addition of small laboratory equipment. In 2000 Reactivos Scharlau decided to change its name to one that better represented the marketing activities of the company. Scharlab S.L. was born. With regard to the manufacturing company, the same decision was made and the name Scharlau Chemie.SA was adopted

Between 2001 and 2004 Scharlab first moved its warehouse, and later its offices to Sentmenat, a small town about 25km northeast of Barcelona, where Scharlau Chemie was also located.

In 2009 a new ERP system was introduced, that amongst other things, helped to simplify the merger of the company that manufactured and exported (Scharlau Chemie) and sold nationally (Scharlab), to become the new Scharlab.

Between 2011 and 2013 Scharlab invested heavily in modernizing its facilities for solvents, increasing safety, with large underground tanks to store solvents, in clean rooms for pharmaceutical excipients and increasing storage capacity for intermediate and finished product. Alongside this subsidiaries and joint ventures were established in Hungary, Italy, Poland, Indonesia, Philippines and China.

In 2013 Scharlab launched the first unified catalogue over 1,200 pages in length and available in various languages such as Spanish, Italian and English. A French version is planned for 2015.

Currently, the company, Scharlab employs over 200 people with direct presence in 8 countries. The growth model has employed is based on that of providing customers with a superior service, and staff with a good working environment enabling them to adopt the company values as their own: teamwork and striving for perfection. Scharlab does not belong to a private equity fund which means it can focus on long-term goals that guarantees stability for both our clients and our team.

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