An extraordinary journey
PZ Cussons began in Sierra Leone in Africa, where our founders George Zochonis and George Paterson began trading commodities with the UK in 1884. As we’ve grown and welcomed new brands to our family, we’ve stayed true to their pioneering and entrepreneurial spirit. We now call on over 135 years of expertise, and a spirit of energy and innovation that has seen us continuously adapt to the changing needs of our consumers and develop many firsts and bests. Today, our span is international, and our future is bright.
George Paterson and George Zochonis set up a trading post in Sierra Leone
George Paterson and George Zochonis set up a trading post in Sierra Leone, trading goods between West Africa and the UK across challenging geographies in a period of slow and difficult travel . The two men shared strong beliefs in how to do business effectively and responsibly, with an entrepreneurial spirit, an eye for great opportunities and a can–do attitude – values that still guide the organisation today!
Paterson and Zochonis open their first branch office in Nigeria
Paterson and Zochonis open their first branch office in Nigeria – a country which would become our biggest market employing the majority of our people.
The 1900’s was a rapid period of expansion for the business, establishing bases across Africa, Europe and Asia.
Soap factory in Nigeria open
Paterson and Zochonis open our first soap factory in Nigeria.
The London Stock Exchange
PZ is listed on the London Stock Exchange, a fantastic endorsement of the group’s performance through challenging times and two world wars.
Manufacturing base set up
The growth continues as PZ establishes a manufacturing base in Ghana.
1980s and 1990s
First soap factory in Kenya
We purchase our first soap factory in Kenya and establish operations in Thailand, Indonesia and Poland.
Building for the future
During this period we build a state of the art personal wash Liquids Manufacturing Centre, Innovation Centre and Perfurmery in Agecroft, a new soap bar facility in Thailand, and upgrade our personal and homecare manufacturing bases in Nigeria.
PZ Cussons acquires leading sunless tanning brand St Tropez, later expanding distribution to over 18 countries and announcing Kate Moss as the new brand ambassador.
We also establish PZ Wilmar, a joint venture with Wilmar International, building a palm oil refinery in Nigeria and establishing a food ingredients business. Find out more about PZ Wilmar.
Our new International Headquarters is opened in Manchester and the PZC Beauty Division is established with a new Covent Garden London office location.
About PZ Cussons
PZ Cussons is a dynamic consumer products group. We’ve created some of the world's best-loved and most trusted brands.