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British Industrial History

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Newman Industries

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Exhibit at the China Clay Country Park.
Exhibit at the China Clay Country Park.
1948. Newman AN4/3. Reg No: 480 UXO. No: VP 1141.
1948. Newman AN4/3. Reg No: 480 UXO. No: VP 1141.
1969.

Electrical and Mechanical Engineers of Bristol. Built tractors.

1923 Company founded.

1936 Public company established to acquire the business of Newman Sons and Company Ltd, Yate, Bristol[1].

1938 Share issue to cover the expenses involved in developing a new electric motor[2].

1944 Acquired Joseph Evans and Sons of Wolverhampton, pump manufacturers[3].

1945 Main business included electrical motors up to 25 h.p., steel castings especially chains and bearings, moulds and ploughshares, and electrical switchgear[4].

1948 Assigned 2 Government surplus factories at Grantham which would be used for the manufacture of tractors[5].

1960 Successful in exporting fan motors to the U.S.A. as a result of adapting to the new U.S. standards which had recently been revised[6].

1961 Manufacturers of electric motors including specialised types such as flameproof, vertical hollow shaft and close-coupled pump; machine tool rebuilders and factors; electronic instruments. 1,500 employees.

1962 Acquired Higgs Motors of Birmingham[7].

1965 Orders for specialised motors from various countries in the Far East, including 300h.p. explosion-proof motor for a refinery and hollow-shaft motors for deep well pumps[8].

1965 Shortage of labour and duplication of ranges between manufacturers was limiting Newman's - rationalisation of the range of motors could double Newman's production[9].

1965 Howell Electric Motors (USA) would import electric motors from Newman's to replace a line made at its Michigan plant, rebadging the motors, and also import Newman's standard motors[10].

1970 Prices and Income Board report proposed limiting price increase on electric motors to 4%[11]

1971 Newman took over Wheatley (Trailers) which was changing its name to West of England Securities[12].

1971 Talks with H. W. Lindop and Sons about taking an interest in the company[13].

1972 Acquired interest in John Harper and Co[14].

1972 Difficulties in machine tool industry (Newman's largest customer) caused surprise 1st half loss[15].

Purchased Court Works from Redman Heenan International[16].

1972 Transferred Court Works to H. W. Lindop in exchange for 39.5% of its shares[17].

1973 Appointments to 7 senior management positions[18]:

  • Newman Controls
  • Flexible Drives (Gilmans)
  • Moore Reed
  • Newman Foundries
  • Newman Electric Motors
  • Continental operations
  • Newman Industries Inc (USA)

1973 Bid to take-over John Harper and Co[19] but ultimately this failed due to better offer from Duport.

1973 Leroy-Somer of France acquired 20% interest in Newman Electric Motors, Newman's overseas sales arm (except USA)[20].

1974 Manufacturing venture established with Cycle and Carriage Co of Singapore making products for Eastern hemisphere[21].

1974 Bid to acquire remainder of Lindop Holdings[22]

1974 Thomas Poole and Gladstone (TPG), a group with the same chairman as Newman's, acquired 11.5% of Newman Industries[23] with further purchases in following days.

1975 TPG proposed to sell quoted and unquoted investments and transfer some related liabilities to Newman's in exchange for cash but would retain its holding of 26% of Newman's[24] but this was opposed by Angus Murray, a non-executive director and chairman of Redman Heenan[25]. It was also proposed that the shareholding of another company in TPG should be purchased by Newman's. Several meetings of shareholders took place before the purchase of assets from TPG was approved and questions were raised by disclosure rules relating to directors's dealings. Some institutional shareholders continued to question the deal and an independent report was obtained from Schroders[26].

1976 Sold Moore Reed to Kode International[27]

1976 Acquired most of the shares in earthenware group Alfred Clough[28]. Bid for remaining shares that it did not already own in Agar Cross and Co[29] for which extra shares were issued[30].

1977 Lonrho purchased 19.3% of the shares in Newman's that had been held by TPG[31].

1977 Newman's bid for the shares in Dover Engineering that it did not already own; rights issue to pay for it[32].

1978 Offer for remaining shares in Avdel International, to be paid for by a rights issue. Failed to acquire Wood and Sons[33].

1978 Newman Industries Ltd acquired Dint Engineering Group.

1980 Two Directors of Newman Industries were found to have misled shareholders in relation to the 1975 purchase of assets from TPG; fine and damages to be decided later[34]. As a result the chairman was dismissed. Subsequently, on appeal, 4 of the 5 verdicts were overturned. The auditors paid compensation for error in their valuation.

1980 London and European Group bought stake in Newman's. Cycle and Carriage Co (Singapore) then offered to take a controlling interest in Newman's, by making a cash injection[35].

1982 Shares suspended

1983 Shares relisted[36].

See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. The Times, 6 April 1936
  2. The Times, 29 April 1938
  3. The Times, 7 June 1945
  4. The Times, 7 June 1945
  5. The Times, 12 January 1948
  6. The Times, 23 March 1960
  7. The Times, 15 June 1962
  8. The Times, 17 March 1965
  9. The Times, 14 April 1965
  10. The Times, 1 September 1965
  11. The Times, 7 January 1970
  12. The Times, 12 May 1971
  13. The Times, 11 November 1971
  14. The Times, 11 April 1972
  15. The Times, 4 November 1972
  16. The Times, 14 April 1973
  17. The Times, 31 July 1972
  18. The Times, 11 January 1973
  19. The Times, 21 November 1973
  20. The Times, 27 December 1973
  21. The Times, 30 April 1974
  22. The Times, 17 June 1974
  23. The Times, 4 July 1974
  24. The Times, 9 June 1975
  25. The Times, 5 July 1975
  26. The Times, 2 March 1976
  27. The Times, 27 April 1976
  28. The Times, 4 August 1976
  29. The Times, 22 September 1976
  30. The Times, 10 November 1976
  31. The Times, 15 January 1977
  32. The Times, 8 October 1977
  33. The Times, 30 October 1978
  34. The Times, 20 February 1980
  35. The Times, 4 November 1980
  36. The Times, 11 February 1983