PZ Cussons began in Sierra Leone, Africa, in 1884, when founders George Zochonis and George Paterson began trading commodities with the UK. Nearly a century later, the firm they founded joined with an equally illustrious competitor, creating the PZ Cussons we know today.
Over all those years we’ve grown to become an international consumer goods group – home to some of the world’s best-loved and most trusted brands. The bold spirit, energy and entrepreneurship of our founders, combined with strong beliefs about how best to do business and a love of learning from people, are still at the very core of who we are.
PZ Cussons’ products delight, care and nourish, and have found a place in millions of households for generations. It’s a legacy that makes us both humble and proud.
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 on 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.
Expanding Our Business
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.
Acquisitions and Moving Home
PZ Cussons acquires leading sunless tanning brand St Tropez, later expanding distribution to over 18 countries.
We also establish PZ Wilmar, a joint venture with Wilmar International, building a palm oil refinery in Nigeria and establishing a food ingredients business.
Our new International Headquarters is opened in Manchester and the PZ Cussons Beauty Division is established in London.