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British Industrial History

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Rolls-Royce plc

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Rolls-Royce Holdings plc, supplier of equipment for delivering power for use in the air, at sea and on land.

1973 Having failed to attract sufficiently high offers for Rolls-Royce in the sale by tender, the automobile business was spun off as a public company, Rolls-Royce Motors Ltd[1]. The main business of aircraft and marine engines remained in public ownership until 1987, when it was privatised as Rolls-Royce plc, one of many privatisations of the Thatcher government.

1987 Rolls-Royce returned to the private sector

1989 Acquired NEI which became a major part of the Rolls-Royce Industrial Power Group. Rolls-Royce had purchased NEI seeking to increase its position in the power generating industry and to reduce its total dependency on the vagaries of the aero-engine market.

1990 Formed an aero-engines joint venture with BMW of Germany.

1995 Acquired Allison Engine Co of Indianapolis; maker of civil aero engines including the AE3007 for Embraer's new regional jet, as well as defence projects.

A change of policy by Rolls Royce led to a reduction in exposure to the power industry.

1996 Rolls decided to close the steam-driven generators parts of the business (Parsons and International Combustion) because it could not compete with the international leaders[2].

1997 Parsons was sold to Siemens[3]. Reyrolle became part of Rolls-Royce Transmission and Distribution Ltd. (R-R T&D).

1998 Sold the rights to use the Rolls-Royce name on cars to BMW for £40 Million[4]

1999 Took full control of the oil and gas joint venture, Cooper Rolls, with the acquisition of the rotating compression equipment interests of Cooper Energy Services. Also acquired National Airmotive in California, a major repair and overhaul facility.

1999 Acquired Vickers plc[5]; Vickers Ulstein and Kamewa products were added to the gas turbine activities, making Rolls-Royce a global leader in marine power systems.

2000 Rolls-Royce took full control of the German joint venture from January 2000.

2002 Sold Vickers Defence Systems to Alvis

By 2004 Rolls-Royce was the world's second largest civil aero engine company, the world's second largest defence aero engine company, a global leader in marine propulsion and a leading supplier of energy solutions, all based on gas turbine technology.

2014 May. Sold its energy gas turbine and compressor business to Siemens for £785 million.

2014 June. Announced the merger of two wholly owned subsidiaries, Aero Engine Controls (AEC) and Optimized Systems and Solutions (OSyS), to form a new business, Rolls-Royce Controls and Data Services which would continue to operate as part of the Rolls-Royce Group

2015 Employ 15,690 engineers and 23,200 total in UK. Employ approx 50,500 worldwide.[6]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Times, May 04, 1973
  2. The Times, July 20, 1996
  3. The Times, April 10, 1997
  4. The Times, February 16, 1998
  5. The Times, September 23, 1999
  6. 2015 Annual Report p49
  • History of Rolls-Royce [1]