S.B. Penick, Sr. founded the Company in Marion, North Carolina in 1914.  Its beginnings were humble, as merchants and millers of drugs of vegetable origin gathered from nearby fields and woods.

World War I created huge demand for the Company’s products and led to significant expansion, acquisitions and the opening of a plant and offices in New York. The pattern of internal growth coupled with acquisitions continued into the mid 1960’s when a multinational conglomerate corporation acquired the S. B. PENICK COMPANY.  At the time of its acquisition S.B.Penick was considered by many to be the largest supplier in the world of botanicals for pharmaceutical and allied uses.

Original logo circa 1950's

Unfortunately the acquisition led to the S.B. Penick Company being broken up into many pieces with each one being sold over a period of about 20 years.  The last remaining piece, known as Penick Pharmaceuticals, was sold to a private investor in 1988.

At that time Penick Pharmaceuticals was producing a variety of inorganic chemicals, especially bismuth salts, several products via chemical synthesis or fermentation and a full range of opiate narcotics.  Its main products were codeine and morphine.

But misfortune continued.  A combination of factors led the company into financial difficulties.  Most important were a significant decline in the market price of codeine and the Savings and Loan crisis in the United States.  It happened that the main bank that had provided the money for the acquisition of Penick was effectively taken over by U.S. Regulators.  That ultimately led to a liquidity problem (a shortage of working capital) at Penick.

Penick responded by doing whatever it could to reduce the need for working capital.  One of those was to reduce its production activities, especially for narcotics, because these demanded high levels of working capital.  The plan and expectation were that it would be possible to find another financial backer to replace its bank or to sell the company to someone who had the necessary capital.  But neither happened.

The Company hung on but eventually, in 1994, was forced to declare Chapter 11 bankruptcy.  In 1997 The Bankruptcy Court appointed a Trustee to run the Company.  His job was to find a buyer. 

He did.  In February 2000 a company, Penick Holding Inc., which had been formed by a group of individual investors specifically to acquire Penick, received approval from the Court for its Reorganization Plan.  The Company was acquired by a group of individuals who committed themselves (and their funds) to re-establishing Penick’s historical base, its medicinal narcotics manufacturing businesses.

In May 2005, Penick was acquired by Siegfried USA and all manufacturing operations were relocated to Pennsville, New Jersey.  Siegfried USA is a wholly owned subsidiary of Siegfried, Ltd. of Zofingen Switzerland and has been active as a manufacturer of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients for over 130 years.

Penick has retained all of its licenses for manufacturing of controlled substances, but now from the much more modern manufacturing facility in Pennsville.


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Penick Corporation 33 Industrial Park Road Pennsville NJ 08070
Tel: 856.678.3601 Fax: 856.678.4008
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