A local business that started small, and is now big, is about to issue shares on the New York and Toronto stock Exchanges. KDC, the initials for Knowlton Development Corporation, is set to raise up to US$800 million to finance expansion.

Charles Thornton started the business in the late 1940s and ended up with shares in the Clairol company, which was what it was known as locally. For many years it was run by his son Paige Thornton. It was eventually bought by Bristol Myers Squibb. Many iterations later KDC is now owned by private investors in the United States and Canada. Charles Thornton’s grandson, Derek Thornton, owns and operates Amalgamated Industries at two locations in Knowlton. The company has long severed connections with the original firm.

“As of April 30, 2021, KDC had co-developed over 9,000 products in the past three years and counted 18 out of the top 20 largest consumer packaged goods companies as customers,” said an American online investment site. It means KDC makes goods for large firms.

Now Cornell Capital of New York has issued an official notice known as a prospectus — saying it hopes to issue 52 million shares at between US$13 and $15 each. Not bad for a company that started small.

The financing means the company is healthy, which is welcome news for the local job market.