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British Industrial History

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Cope Allman and Co

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Cope, Allman and Co, tube makers of Icknield Sq, Birmingham (1914)

precision engineers and non-ferrous tube makers, which evolved into a very widely spread company producing cosmetics, fashion clothers and food,, etc, of Bournemouth (1962)

c.1899 Company incorporated

1914 Brass, copper and steel tube maker[1]

1931 Court appearance, apparently for bankruptcy[2]

1932 Reduction in capital[3]

By 1956 Was a maker of brass bedsteads and was almost defunct

1956 Acquired by Leonard Matchan, who had had a career with Max Factor and Revlon, who used it as the basis for a conglomerate[4]

By 1957 was a public company

1957 Moved to new premises; also proposed to purchase a small mill; seeking further acquisitions in order to provide diversification[5].

1959 Shares admitted for trading[6]

1961 Acquired Gilbey Engineering[7]. Acquired Etablissements Leon Reboul, France's only maker of lipstick containers, which was similar in size to Edward Webster, Cope Allman's subsidiary[8]

1961 AGM told that diversification policy had proved itself; acquired substantial interest in J. W. Young and Sons and its subsidiaries, one of which, Emery Brothers, provided an important basic material used by the Group. Also had several international businesses[9]. Acquired Troman Brothers, makers of sanitary ware and plumbers brass foundry[10] and Wade Smith and Co, engineers of Wolverhampton[11]

1962 2 subsidiaries - Edward Webster and Ets. Reboul - made almost all the lipstick and cosmetic containers used in Britain and Europe and had pioneered the making of valves for aerosol containers in Britain and Europe. Agreement on exchange of promotional and technical information with the Eyelet Divn. of the International Silver Corporation of Meriden, Connecticut, USA[12]

1962 Acquired Wills (Bournemouth), makers of pre-cast buildings and concrete blocks[13]. Acquired Medlicott and Wheatley, steel agents, of Birmingham and its subsidiaries[14]

1963 Acquired a group of 7 engineering companies, Reside, of Brighouse, Yorks[15]

1963 Had a total of 33 subsidiaries[16]. New acquisitions in South Africa and France. Acquired S. Allcock of Redditch, Worcestershire, makers of fishing tackle[17]. Shares were offered in the South African holding company [18] Moved R. Ramsden and Son from London to larger premises in Darlington, making brwery and distillation equipment; acquired Metaglo[19]

1964 Formed US subsidiary which would acquire manufacturing interests to produce products including Young's fishing reels and Allcock's rods as well as children's bicycles[20]. Acquired Duraplex Industries and its associate Duraplex (Plastics) of Edinburgh, makers of plastic sheeting; also acquired E. F. Electric of Watford, maker of small electrical switches[21]. Planned to enter field of aluminium anodizing equipment and expand in plastics; would float the French subsidiary[22]. Acquired Aerosol Research Co of USA, maker of aerosol valves[23]. Scrip share issue and employeed share scheme in a novel approach to handling the surplus in the accounts[24]

1965 Subsidiary Knowles and Co of Bradford won an order for textile machinery for Russia[25]

1965 Midland and Northern Counties Investments, another Matchan company, acquired Cope Allman and Co, Harper Engineering and Electronics and the "rump" of J. W. Young and Sons, all interests of Mr L Matchan, putting them into a new company Cope Allman International, largely for tax reasons[26]. Arrangement with the Valve Corporation of America, giving the combined group about one third of the world market for aerosol valves[27]. Acquired three-quarters of the shares of Barclay-Stuart (Plastics)[28]

1966 Acquired Northern Export (Furs) of Leeds[29]; bid for Lloyd's Packing Warehouses of Manchester[30] but, for the first time the Stock Exchange had to intervene in a bid, asking for clarification of the bid[31], which failed; a revised bid eventually succeeded; acquired Peter Brunskill, a fashion retailer of Bradford and Manchester[32] and George Silverman of London, maker of women's dresses[33]

1966 Sold Troman Brothers and Phillips and Rabone, makers of sanitary fittings in brass and plastic, to Armitage Ware[34]

1966 Acquired Millreed Ltd, a private property company[35] and menswear producer A. Bodner and its subsidiary Elem Clothes (London)[36]

1967 Merger of the company's interests in waterproof papers, plastic films and bags, self-adhesive tapes and other products with those of Capseals Ltd and PMA Holdings in a new company Packaging Products Group. Later sold its interests to Capseals[37]

1968 Owned 150 companies in engineering, packaging, fashion and consumer goods[38]

1969 Sold William Elwell and Sons to R. G. Brown and Co; sold 2 other subsidiaries to Quinton Hazell[39]

1970 Cope Allman transferred several paper and board making subsidiaries to Capseals in exchange for controlling interest in the company[40]

1971 Sold its South African interests and the pharmaceutical venture. The Grimsby works of Richardson and Coppin, printers, was being closed. The number of trading companies, once as many as 300, had been reduced to 80.

1986 Henlys, garage and car makers, owned 43 percent of Cope Allman; 49 percent of Henlys was owned by Hawley Group, run by Michael Ashrcoft who was also chairman of Cope Allman; Hawleys acquired the other 57 percent of shares with the intention of combining the ownership[41]

1988 Henlys sold Cope Allman to a new investment company, Quoteplan; Hawley Group changed its name to ADT and would invest in the new company and retain rights to acquire up to 49 percent interest in the business[42]. Sold Long and Crawford of Manchester, makers of secondary distribution switchgear to GEC[43].

1989 Quoteplan sold Bell-Fruit Leisure to Kunick Group, another fruit machine company[44]

1992 Bowater acquired Cope Allman Packaging, by buying Quoteplan[45]

See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. Bennett's Business Directory for Warwickshire, 1914
  2. The Times, Nov 05, 1931
  3. The Times, Jan 05, 1932
  4. The Times, Jan 29, 1968
  5. The Times, Oct 04, 1957
  6. The Times, Dec 16, 1959
  7. The Times, Aug 17, 1961
  8. The Times, Sep 14, 1961
  9. The Times, Oct 27, 1961
  10. The Times, Nov 06, 1961
  11. The Times, Dec 21, 1961
  12. The Times, Mar 20, 1962
  13. The Times, Jul 30, 1962
  14. The Times, Dec 18, 1962
  15. The Times, Jan 28, 1963
  16. The Times, Jul 23, 1963
  17. The Times, Sep 10, 1963
  18. The Times, Nov 02, 1963
  19. The Times, Nov 25, 1963
  20. The Times, Feb 24, 1964
  21. The Times, Apr 18, 1964
  22. The Times, May 06, 1964
  23. The Times, May 29, 1964
  24. The Times, Jul 31, 1964
  25. The Times, Jul 14, 1965
  26. The Times, Nov 01, 1965
  27. The Times, Dec 06, 1965
  28. The Times, Dec 24, 1965
  29. The Times, Jan 19, 1966
  30. The Times, Feb 12, 1966
  31. The Times, Apr 18, 1966
  32. The Times, Apr 05, 1966
  33. The Times, Apr 20, 1966
  34. The Times, Jun 13, 1966
  35. The Times, Jun 28, 1966
  36. The Times, Oct 05, 1966
  37. The Times, Aug 14, 1967
  38. The Times, Jan 29, 1968
  39. The Times, Dec 12, 1969
  40. The Times, Oct 29, 1970
  41. The Times, March 12, 1986
  42. The Times, January 06, 1988
  43. The Times, August 06, 1988
  44. The Times, August 19, 1989
  45. The Times, March 03, 1992