Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Charter Consolidated

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1965 Founded by the merger of three British mining, finance and investment companies:

After the merger, Anglo American was the largest single shareholder in Charter.

The assets inherited by Charter were principally mining investments but, from Central Mining, Charter inherited certain industrial interests, including 16.9 per cent of the issued share capital of Cape Asbestos Co and the whole of the issued share capital of the Elastic Rail Spike Co Ltd and Heatrae Ltd.

Expanded mining interests outside Southern Africa and outside Africa including a substantial increase in interest in a Portuguese tin and wolfram mine, the creation of a tin-mining group in Malaysia to manage the Tronoh Group mines and to explore for new deposits, the development of a copper mine in Mauretania, the development of a copper mine in Zaire, and the development with ICI of Cleveland Potash, a new potash mine in Yorkshire, as well as portfolio investments elsewhere.

1969 Made a partial bid for Cape which increased its holding to approximately 60 per cent.

1974 Acquired Sadia Water Heaters

By the mid-1970s Charter decided it needed to achieve a better balance between its mining and industrial interests and between United Kingdom and foreign earnings, with an increased emphasis on British-based industrial operations. In mining it concentrated on medium-size projects, mainly in Europe.

1970s Transferred or sold most of its mining interests to its owners or others and focussed on the manufacture of coal mining equipment.

1980 Acquired Perard Investment Holdings Ltd and 28.4 percent of Anderson Strathclyde

1981 Acquired Alexander Shand (Holdings) Ltd from BP - Shand were opencast mining contractors and road constructors.

By 1982 Wholly-owned British subsidiaries were:

and 67.3 percent of Cape Industries

1983 Charter Consolidated acquired Anderson Strathclyde after a 3 year battle, despite a split decision by the Monopolies Commission against the merger[1]

1997 Charter plc acquired Howden Group plc.

2011 Charter issued a profit warning and changed its chief executive; it was subject to a contested takeover bid; the largest constituents of the group were Howden, which made parts for the oil and gas industry, and ESAB, which was involved in welding technology[2]. Eventually Colfax, a US conglomerate, acquired the group.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Times, Mar 26, 1983
  2. The Times, August 08, 2011
  • Competition Commission [1]