Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 143,348 pages of information and 230,029 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.


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The Company was established by Frederick Dalgety, a Scotsman, in Melbourne in 1846, outfitting sheep ranchers.

1854 Frederick Dalgety moved to London where he operated as a wool trader.

1884 The Company was first listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1884.

1962 the business merged with the New Zealand Loan & Mercantile Agency.

1966 The Company expanded into North America in 1966 acquiring Balfour Guthrie, a lumber and poultry business

1970 it acquired the UK-based Pig Improvement Company (PIC).

1977 Federated Chemical Holdings was acquired by Dalgety.

1979 it diversified into foods acquiring Spillers, a flour milling and pet food business, following a hostile take-over battle, becoming Dalgety Spillers

1987 it bought Golden Wonder, potato crisp manufacturers.

1995 it bought Felix Pet Foods.

In the late 1990s, following the BSE crisis in the UK, it entered into a series of disposals and sold Golden Wonder to the management in 1995, its food ingredients and Spillers flour milling operations to the Kerry Group in 1997 and its pet foods business to Nestlé in 1997.

Dalgety retained the brand rights for the production of pre-prepared cooking sauces. The Homepride sauces brand was acquired by the Campbell Soup Company.

2006 the sauce brand was acquired by Premier Foods.

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