Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Duport

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October 1973.

Duport of Tipton, an industrial holding company, the name being derived from Dudley Port.

1956 Name of company changed from Vono Industrial Products Ltd to Duport[1].

1956 Purchased Briton Ferry Steel Co from the Iron and Steel Holding and Realisation Agency[2]. As part of the deal Neath Steel and Galvanizing Co became a wholly owned subsidiary of Briton Ferry Steel Co.

1956 Offered to purchase Revo Electric Co by exchange of shares[3].

1960 Purchase Llanelly Steel Co from the Holding and Realization Agency[4].

1967 One of the larger steel makers not subject to nationalisation[5]

1967 Sold the goodwill, patents, trademarks of Revo Electric Co to English Electric Co; the manufacturing capacity would be redirected to other parts of the business; the Llanelly Foundry and Engineering Co operations were transferred to Neath and merged with Baglan Foundry and Engineering Co[6].

1968 Investment in semi-continuous twin bar mill at London Works Steel Co Ltd and automated line for Daintymaid kitchen equipment. Principal companies were[7]:

1970 Took over Slumberland Ltd and its associated companies[8]; Duport was the largest steel produced in the private sector and this merger would give it 30% of the UK beds market (including Vono's share) but the logic and price was questioned.

1973 Duport took over Flather Halesowen. Portfolio also included Swish Products Ltd.

1973 Duport took-over John Harper and Co, outbidding Newman Industries[9]

1975 Portfolio included Vi Spring Ltd. and James Arthur and Co Ltd.

1978 Sold Burman and Sons to Adwest Group[10].

1981 Closed the South Wales engineering steels plants. British Steel forged a new £130 million joint company with GKN and bought out the steelmaking parts of ailing Duport. British Steel's decision to buy out Duport's re-rolling plants in Sheffield and the Midlands followed months of delicate negotiations involving Government ministers. The interests acquired comprised London Works, Flather Bright Steels and Nationwide Steel Stock. As a result of this Duport's 350,000 tonne electric plant at Llanelli, which had only been commissioned in 1979) was closed with the loss of 1200 jobs. [11][12]

1982 Failed to sell domestic products division to Silentnight; closed some foundries and reorganised production amongst the remainder. At the end of the year, agreed to sell beds business to Airsprung of Trowbridge.

1984 Subsidiary Anslow bought the Blackheath stamping division of Armstrong Equipment[13]

1986 Acquired by Williams Holdings[14].

See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. The Times, 30 May 1973
  2. The Times, 7 April 1956
  3. The Times, 20 December 1956
  4. The Times, 15 December 1960
  5. The Times, Apr 26, 1967
  6. The Times, 20 November 1967
  7. The Times, 18 November 1968
  8. The Times, 9 February 1970
  9. The Times, 21 November 1973
  10. The Times 27 June 1978
  11. The Engineer 1981/02/26
  12. The Times, Jun 25, 1981
  13. The Times, Sep 25, 1984
  14. The Times, May 13, 1986