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of Walsall, Staffs
Founded as F.H. Tomkins Buckle Company, a small British manufacturer of buckles and fasteners. Later grew into an international conglomerate Tomkins plc.
1925 Established as a private company.
1950 Company made public.
1961 Manufacturers of metal smallwares and wire work, including buckles, slides, dees, rings, and snap hooks. 200 employees.
1961 Company converted into a holding company F. H. Tomkins (Holding) Ltd; the existing company became a subsidiary F. H. Tomkins.
1964 Proposed merger of Musical and Plastic Industries (MPI), whose main product was the Beatle guitar, with Empire Rib, an umbrella manufacturer, and F. H. Tomkins by exchange of one share of MPI for one share of each of the other 2 companies; Mr Denis Royston, chairman of Empire Rib was also a director of Tomkins and, with another individual, owned 37.5% of MPI but the merger did not proceed.
1966 Loan from Empire Rib settled by the transfer, by its subsidiary Arnold and Wood, of steel stockholders Monkhouse and Brown to Steel Nut and Joseph Hampton. Tomkins shares restored to stock exchange.
1968 Acquired Webb Condenser Co Ltd and Hopewell Engineers Merchants Ltd.
1969 Monkhouse and Brown sold to Hall Engineering (Dies).
1973 Acquired C. Walters and Sons of Manchester, stockholders of fasteners.
1976 Acquired 2 distributors: Hexagon Tool Supplies and Hexagon Fasteners.
1981 Part of the assets of Woden Steel and Fasteners at Wednesbury were sold to Brasway. Major reorganisation was undertaken in many parts of the group. Subsequently acquired Essanbee Products, a distributor of fasteners.
1984 Greg Hutchings appointed chief executive. Strategy adopted to become a more broadly-based industrial holding company. Agreement to purchase Ferraris Piston Services Ltd, a vehicle component and spares distribution company.
1984 New management had taken over, some acquisitions and rationalization had been undertaken, tight financial controls imposed, profits improved but gearing was high. Further acquisitions were planned to focus the company on distribution rather than metal forming.
1980s The Company embarked on a succession of acquisitions, which rapidly increased the revenue, product range and global reach.
1986 Acquired Pegler-Hattersley, the largest acquisition to date and the only hostile bid by Tomkins; the group was reorganised into 3 divisions. The increased scale of the business allowed further purchases including US companies Smith and Wesson and Murray, maker of lawnmowers.
1992 Purchased RHM.
1996 Major acquisitions included the US-based Gates Corporation in 1996, which signalled a move into the industrial and automotive markets, and the Stant and Schrader businesses that further bolstered this division.
1996 Recognising the need to strengthen and build upon its market leadership positions in its core engineering markets, Tomkins began a process of streamlining its activities by disposing of a number of businesses.
1998 Sold F H Tomkins Buckle Co
2010 Tomkins plc is a global manufacturing group with revenue in excess of £3 billion and over 37,000 employees.