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British Industrial History

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Johnson and Firth Brown

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Special steel and engineering group of Sheffield

1973 Formed by merger of Thomas Firth and John Brown Ltd with Richard Johnson and Nephew, the company to be known as Johnson and Firth Brown Ltd.

1977 Johnson and Firth Brown failed to acquire Dunford and Elliott, which between them shared the British market for forged rolls[1].

1977 Johnson and Firth Brown acquired Davy International's shares in British Rollmakers Corporation and then bid for the rest of the company[2] which gave Johnson and Firth Brown the ability to offer both forged and cast rolls, as its competitors in Sweden and USA could do.

1981 Sale of the company's 2 steel wire subsidiaries: Johnson and Nephew (Manchester) and Johnson and Nephew (Ambergate) to Cape Gate of South Africa[3].

1982 Agreement to merge Johnson and Firth Brown's Sheffield works and British Steel's River Don Works to form Sheffield Forgemasters.

1982 Sale of 7 subsidiaries to London and Midland Industrials, leaving the company with 7 main subsidiaries; Johnson and Firth Brown would purchase 2 partly-owned subsidiaries and reduce its borrowings[4]

1983 Johnson and Firth Brown's Sheffield works and British Steel's River Don Works were amalgamated to form the jointly-owned private sector company, Sheffield Forgemasters, employing a workforce of 6,500.

1984 Joint venture formed by merger of the copper and aluminium businesses of BICC and Johnson and Firth Brown to form a new company Thomas Bolton and Johnson with sites at Froghall and Wakefield. Prescot Aluminium Co was formed bringing together the aluminium (overhead wire) cable businesses of the 2 companies; BICC owned 80 percent; Johnson owned 20 percent[5]

1985 Part of the subsidiary Richard Lloyd and Co was sold to Monks and Crane Holdings; also agreed to sell Richard Lloyd and Co and its subsidiaries Tungsten Electric and Cardale (Preston) to Topazbridge[6]

1987 Merger of Johnson and Firth Brown Ltd with Woodhouse and Rixson to form Firth Rixson Ltd.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Times, 3 May 1977
  2. The Times, 3 May 1977
  3. The Times, 31 March 1981
  4. The Times, Thursday, 14 October 1982
  5. The Times Mar. 31, 1984
  6. The Times, 11 October 1985