Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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United Scientific Holdings

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of London. Supplier of optical, scientific and electronic equipment, mainly to overseas governments and military forces[1]

1965 Rights and Issues Investment Trust acquired 10 percent of the shares and, amongst other things, stimulated the company to assemble a catalogue of all of the equipment that it supplied; the principal subsidiary was United Scientific Instruments; most of its products were made to order by outside manufacturers.

1968 Public issue of shares.

1970 Acquired Helio Mirror, maker of periscopes[2]

1971 Acquired Avimo[3]

1972 Sold United Beller Ltd[4]

1977 Acquired a major share of the equity of Optic Electronic Corporation of Dallas which also had a leading role in supplying military range-finders[5]

1980 Acquired US defence equipment company Ni-Tec[6]

1981 Acquired Alvis from the denationalization of BL[7] which more or less doubled the size of the company.

1989 Announced loss due to problems at Avimo[8]. Meggitt launched a bid for the company but, after winning acceptances from a majority of shareholders, walked away from the deal[9], after new financial information was released. Acquired Self Changing Gears from Cummins[10]

1992 Changed name to Alvis plc[11]. The electro-optic businesses were transferred to the Avimo Singapore subsidiary.


See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. The Times Oct 30, 1968
  2. The Times Jan 08, 1970
  3. The Times, Aug 21, 1971
  4. The Times, Jul 21, 1972
  5. The Times, Nov 01, 1977
  6. The Times, May 15, 1981
  7. The Times, Jul 03, 1981
  8. The Times, June 02, 1989
  9. The Times, November 21, 1989
  10. The Times October 25, 1989
  11. The Times, June 13, 1992
  • The Times Mar 08, 1969