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 148,478 pages of information and 233,901 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.


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1988 Merger between ASEA AB of Sweden and BBC Brown Boveri Ltd forming ABB (ASEA-Brown Boveri) with 850 subsidiary companies and 180,000 employees operating in 140 countries. The merged entity became the world’s leading supplier in the electric power industry. At that time ABB controlled as much as a third of Europe’s business and more than 20 percent of the world market. The two parent companies retained their separate names, boards and stock listings.

1989 ABB acquired Combustion Engineering of USA, boiler maker[1]

1989 ABB acquired the electric transmission and distribution business of Westinghouse, an industry leader in North America. This gave ABB a leading production position for distribution and power transformers, instrument transformers, transformer components, high-voltage breakers, medium-voltage breakers and reclosers, surge arresters, and capacitors

1989 British Rail Engineering (1988) Limited was purchased by a group consisting of ABB (40%), Trafalgar House (40%) and management (20%) forming BREL.

1995 ABB acquired and combined all of the Ljungstrom Air Preheater interests from USA, Japan, Germany, Czech Republic & Brazil

1996 ASEA AB and BBC Brown Boveri AG changed their names to ABB AB and ABB AG, respectively. BREL was later bought out by ABB to form ABB Transportation Ltd. ABB Transportation was subsequently merged with Daimler-Benz to form ADtranz (ABB-Daimler Benz Transportation)

1999 Creation of joint venture ABB ALSTOM Power

2000 ALSTOM acquired ABB’s JV share of the Ljungstrom air preheater business and operated it as part of ALSTOM Power.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Times, November 14, 1989
  • [1] ABB history