Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Cambridge Electronic Industries

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Cambridge Electronic Industries plc, of Cambridge, maker of electronic components (NB other companies, not plc, had similar names)

1974 Belling and Lee Ltd moved to CEI Group from Philips

1979 CEI acquired Ajax Machine Tool Co

1980 Philips put together the peripheral high technology businesses, "the bits that Philips did not want", into a separate company, Cambridge Electronic Industries[1]

1981 Incorporated as a Public company; 40 percent of the shares were to be sold by Philips; the group consisted of 20 distinct companies, largely from Pye, involved in passive components and sub-systems for a range of customers,[2] The business operated in 3 areas:[3]

  • Electronic and Electrical Components
  • Defence and Electronic Systems
  • Specialist Engineering.

The main subsidiary companies were:

All the companies were primarily engaged in only one of the 3 market segments, except for Belling and Lee which was involved in both Electronic and Electrical Components and Defence and Electronic Systems.

1984 Drop in profits from the company's defence-related work[4]

1988 Acquired Infrared Associates of USA which would complement the existing Specac and Cathodeon subsidiaries in the Defence and Instrumentation division[5]

1988 Acquired 2 of North American Philips' subsidiaries: MEPCO and Dialight; also intended to acquire 2 European component makers; Harry Tee was MD of the electronic components division[6]

1989 Sold Labgear Cablevision; also wanted to sell Belling Lee Intec and Ajax Machine Tools[7]

1989 Owned PED Ltd of Newmarket, makers of relays, solenoids and switches[8]

1990 Sold the electronics division, including Belling Lee Ltd, Cambridge Capacitors Ltd, CRL Components Holdings Inc., CRL Components Inc., Dialight Corporation Ltd and PED Ltd[9], presumably in the form of the management buy-out that became the Roxboro Group.

1991 Acquired Tace and Goring Kerr[10]

1992 Name changed to Graseby[11]. Expertise in emission monitoring was being applied to detection of Semtex explosive

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Times May 28, 1981
  2. The Times, Jun 20, 1981
  3. Cambridge Electronic Industries incorporation filing
  4. The Times, Aug 23, 1984
  5. The Times Aug. 4, 1988
  6. The Times, August 24, 1988
  7. The Times, June 22, 1989
  8. The Times, October 25, 1989
  9. 1991 Annual report
  10. The Times August 26, 1992
  11. The Times, May 23, 1992