Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Mitchell Cotts

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Shipping house, colliery owner, merchant, of St Helens Place, City of London

1895 William Mitchell Cotts recognised the potential for South African coal and developed the port of Johannesburg for exporting Natal coal[1]

Shipping house established in London, serving South Africa[2]

1932 Name changed to Mitchell Cotts and Co; owned 90 percent of the shares in Alldays and Onions

1935 Took over the shares of the Saint Line which carried out the shipping for the company

1936 Public company[3]

By 1936 Alldays and Onions was part of Mitchell Cotts and Co[4].

1937 Acquired the South African branch of Fraser and Chalmers, makers of mining machinery[5]

1948 Formed joint company in South Africa with Parkinson and Cowan[6]

1963 Started growing plants in Ecuador to provide pyretherum extract to make insecticide from natural sources; this was intended to diversify production from the initial source, Kenya[7]

1968 Bid for Mansfields, motor engineers of Eastbourne[8] but was outbid; acquired Transport Group (Holdings)[9]

1968 Had operations in Britain, South Africa, Australia and 7 other countries; acquired Diecastings Ltd and J. C. Peacock (Engineers) Ltd[10].

1968 Expanded into warehousing, cold storage and transport in Britain as well as expanding its engineering interests[11]

1969 Combined Alldays and Onions and another of its subsidiaries, J. C. Peacock (Engineers), both involved in industrial fans, in a new company called Alldays Peacock[12]. Acquired Prestage Holdings, a Bedford/Vauxhall dealer[13]

1972 Offer of rights to shares in Mitchell Cotts Transport to existing shareholders[14]

1981 The company made virtually all its profit from its engineering and transport activities and nothing from trading[15] It had made 75 percent of its profits in South Africa but this was declining[16].

1982 As part of its strategy to increase the business in Britain, the company acquired private company Howard Humphreys, consulting engineers, but sold its 75 percent in Mitchell Cotts-Lennon, project contractor, because it could not acquired full ownership[17]

1980s Alldays Peacock was acquired by the Spire Group.

1985 Mitchell Cotts Chemicals of West Yorshire gained a Queens Award for its insecticides[18]. Mitchell Cotts Engineering acquired Howard Tenens Engines[19]

1986 Acquired Wharton and Wilcocks, maker of modular work holding systems[20]

1987 Acquired by Suter, following a period of poor performance, who then sold the subsidiary Howard and Humphreys to Brown and Root[21]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Times, Jan 22, 1932
  2. The Times, Nov 09, 1927
  3. The Times, Feb 03, 1936
  4. The Times, 16 December 1936
  5. The Times, Oct 27, 1937
  6. The Times May 22, 1948
  7. The Times, May 21, 1971
  8. The Times, May 01, 1968
  9. The Times, May 02, 1968
  10. The Times, Dec 18, 1968
  11. The Times, Dec 23, 1968
  12. The Times, Aug 27, 1969
  13. The Times, Dec 18, 1969
  14. The Times, May 01, 1972
  15. The Times, Oct 02, 1981
  16. The Times, Mar 05, 1982
  17. The Times, Oct 08, 1982
  18. The Times, Apr 22, 1985
  19. The Times, Oct 09, 1985
  20. The Times, July 12, 1986
  21. The Times, September 17, 1987