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British Industrial History

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Amalgamated Industrials

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The Original Company

1919 Company was formed as an investment and finance company to finance and extend British industry; exceptionally large issue of shares (£3million of which about half was to be issued at the start) [1] which was over-subscribed.

1919 Acquired William Whitwell and Co, North End Spinning Co and Clyde Shipbuilding and Engineering Co[2].

1919 John Slater of John Slater (London) Ltd acquired a controlling interest in Amalgamated Industrials and increased its capital to £5 million in order to merge his existing interests into the company - these were Murdoch and Murray and Ferguson Brothers on the Clyde, the new Haden collieries, the Berry Hill collieries, Kelsall Brothers and Beeching, steam trawler operators and fish merchants, a controlling interest in International Marine Insurance Co and City Life Insurance Co as well as John Slater (London) Ltd which owned several shipping lines [3].

1919 John Slater explained to an EGM that the company had constructed a chain of companies from coal, through steel to ship building and ship owning; the one that did not fit was cotton spinning. Announced further acquisition of spinning mill John Thomasson and Sons of Bolton [4].

1919 Report that Amalgamated were acquiring Dulcia Steam Shipping Co., and Griffiths Lewis Steam Navigation Co but this was later denied [5].

1920 Acquired 3 shipping lines: Head, and Lord lines of Belfast, and the Cork Steamship Company, in line with the previously expressed strategy of building an integrated business in which the shipping companies would absorb the products of the upstream businesses. Now owned 19 companies [6].

1920 AGM told that the company owned a brickworks (acquired as part of the purchase of one of the 3 collieries) where they had established research laboratory so as to make bricks in a scientific manner, and had acquired a large sanitary ware manufacturer of baths, etc which was located in the middle of one of their properties; most of its products were exported to Germany [7].

1921 AGM told that the company had acquired Hardman Brothers (Bolton) Ltd printers of Bolton, and Wilton, Angus and Co coal exporters of Newcastle upon Tyne; in all there were 20 companies in the group [8].

1922 Head, Wrightson and Co acquired the interest in William Whitwell and Co previously held by Amalgamated Industrials[9], which had been unable to provide the capital needed for expansion of the works[10].

1922 Sale of goods by the Receiver on behalf of the Debenture holders [11] who eventually received £30 for every £100[12].

Another company with the same name

1959 Knitmaster Holdings acquired W. J. Harris and Co and the Mulberry Co; the name of Knitmaster Holdings was changed to Amalgamated Industrials Ltd[13].

1960 Acquired A. H. Bland, makers of heat sealing machinery[14] and H. Massil and Sons (Wolverhampton)[15]

1960 AGM: company was moving into metals, metal processing, light machinery and engineering, attaining a leading position in each field of operation[16]

1961 Amalgamated Industrials sold its holding of the whole of the ordinary capital of W. J. Harris and Co and acquired the whole of the ordinary capital of Electro Dynamic Construction Co; owned Alder Hardware Ltd[17]

1964 Acquired by E. and H. P. Smith [18]

Yet another company with the same name

1972 E. and H. P. Smith changed its name to Amalgamated Industrials with the support of Bryanston Holdings, and changed its focus from engineering to internal growth activities and acquisitions.

See E. and H. P. Smith

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Times, 31 May 1919
  2. The Times, 27 June 1919
  3. The Times, 10 October 1919
  4. The Times, 23 October 1919
  5. The Times, 18 December 1919
  6. The Times, 1 May 1920
  7. The Times, 30 November 1920
  8. The Times, 18 May 1921
  9. The Times, 26 June 1922
  10. The Times, May 17, 1923
  11. The Times 14 October 1922
  12. The Times 21 February 1923
  13. The Times, 17 December 1959
  14. The Times, Jan 19, 1960
  15. The Times, Jun 08, 1960
  16. The Times, Dec 15, 1960
  17. The Times, Dec 14, 1961
  18. The Times, Dec 01, 1964