Thorn Electrical Industries

Last updated
Thorn Electrical Industries
Public
IndustryElectrical engineering
FateMerged
Successor Thorn EMI
Founded1928
Defunct1998
Headquarters London, UK

Thorn Electrical Industries Limited was an electrical engineering business. It was listed on the London Stock Exchange but it merged with EMI Group to form Thorn EMI in 1979. It demerged again in 1996 and became a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index but was acquired by Nomura Group just two years later.

London Stock Exchange Stock exchange in the City of London

London Stock Exchange is a stock exchange located in the City of London, England. As of April 2018, London Stock Exchange had a market capitalization of US$4.59 trillion. It was founded in 1571, making it one of the oldest exchanges in the world. Its current premises are situated in Paternoster Square close to St Paul's Cathedral in the City of London. It is part of London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG).

Thorn EMI major British conglomerate 1980-1996

Thorn EMI was a major British company involved in consumer electronics, music, defence and retail. Created in October 1979 when Thorn Electrical Industries merged with EMI, it was listed on the London Stock Exchange and was once a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index but it demerged back to separate companies in 1996.

FTSE 100 Index share index of the London Stock Exchange

The Financial Times Stock Exchange 100 Index, also called the FTSE 100 Index, FTSE 100, FTSE, or, informally, the "Footsie", is a share index of the 100 companies listed on the London Stock Exchange with the highest market capitalisation. It is seen as a gauge of prosperity for businesses regulated by UK company law. The index is maintained by the FTSE Group, a subsidiary of the London Stock Exchange Group.

Contents

History

Sir Jules Thorn and Alfred Deutsch founded the company in March 1928 as The Electric Lamp Service Company Ltd. Thorn had worked in England as a travelling salesman for Olso, an Austrian manufacturer of gas mantles. When Olso went bankrupt, Thorn decided to stay in England. Deutsch, an Austrian engineer, visited Thorn in 1928 and was persuaded to stay to help organize the company's production process. [1]

Sir Jules Thorn was the founder of Thorn Electrical Industries, one of the United Kingdom's largest electrical businesses.

Gas mantle Device for generating bright light when heated bya flame

An incandescent gas mantle, gas mantle or Welsbach mantle is a device for generating bright white light when heated by a flame. The name refers to its original heat source in gas lights, which filled the streets of Europe and North America in the late 19th century, mantle referring to the way it is hung above the flame. Today it is still used in portable camping lanterns, pressure lanterns and some oil lamps.

In 1932 Thorn acquired the Atlas Lamp Works and began making light bulbs in Edmonton, north London. The company grew rapidly to become Thorn Lighting , one of the world's largest producers of lamps, luminaires and lighting components. The name changed to Thorn Electrical Industries in November 1936. The company later began to diversify by buying Ferguson Radio Corporation in the late 1950s and Ultra Radio & Television in 1961. [2]

Edmonton, London suburb of London, England

Edmonton is a district in North London in the London Borough of Enfield, England, 8.4 miles (13.5 km) north-northeast of Charing Cross.

North London is an informally and inexactly defined part of London, England which covers some of the area of the capital lying north of the River Thames. North London extends from Clerkenwell and Finsbury on the edge of the City of London financial district, to Greater London's boundary with Hertfordshire. North London is an imprecise description and the area it covers is defined differently for a range of purposes. Common to these definitions is that it includes districts north of the River Thames and is used in comparison with South London. However, it is also often used in comparisons with Central London, East London and West London. There is also a northern postal area but this includes some areas not normally described as part of North London, while excluding many others that are.

Thorn Lighting

Thorn Lighting Ltd, a subsidiary of the Austrian company Zumtobel Group, is a global supplier of both outdoor and indoor luminaires and integrated controls.

In 1965 Thorn took over local Edmonton firm Glover and Main, gas-appliance manufacturers. [3]

Glover and Main was a British manufacturer of gas meters and stoves located at Angel Road, Edmonton, London.

Other notable brands within the Thorn group over the years have included Radio Rentals, DER (both TV rental), Rumbelows (electrical goods), Tricity (cookers and fridges), Kenwood (food mixers), Thorn Kidde (fire protection), TMD [4] (microwave equipment) and Mazda (light bulbs).

Radio Rentals was formed in 1930 in Brighton, Sussex, UK to rent out radio sets by Percy Perring-Thoms with a turnover in the first year of £780. It later moved into televisions and ultimately video recorders. In 1964 it merged with RentaSet, Joseph Robinson's similarly formed company. Then in 1968 it was acquired by Thorn Electrical Industries and joined with Thorn's DER chain as part of Thorn Television Rentals (TTR) though the two companies were run completely separately with different staff and vehicles etc. In 1980 TTR and thus Radio Rentals became part of the merged Thorn EMI, and in 2000 it merged with Granada Limited to form Boxclever. The company still trades as Radio Rentals in Australia.

Rumbelows was an electrical and electronics retailer in the United Kingdom, that once rivalled Currys, Dixons and Comet.

Kenwood Limited

Kenwood is a kitchen appliances manufacturer, operating in 44 countries. It is owned by the De’Longhi Group. Kenwood designs, produces and sells kitchen appliances including stand mixers, blenders, food processors, kettles and toasters.

Merger with EMI

In October 1979 Thorn merged with EMI to form Thorn EMI. [5]

EMI British music recording and publishing company

EMI Group Limited was a British transnational conglomerate founded in March 1931 in London. At the time of its break-up in 2012, it was the fourth largest business group and record label conglomerate in the music industry, and was one of the big four record companies ; its labels included EMI Records, Parlophone, Virgin Records, and Capitol Records, which are now owned by other companies.

On 16 August 1996 Thorn EMI shareholders voted in favour of de-merging Thorn. The electronics and rentals divisions were divested as Thorn plc. [6]

Future Rentals, a subsidiary of Nomura Group, acquired Thorn in 1998; [7] it subsequently passed to Terra Firma Capital Partners who set up the BrightHouse chain. The remainder of the company was sold to a private buyer in June 2007. [8]

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Arc lamp a light created by electrical breakdown of gas

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The General Electric Company, or GEC, was a major UK-based industrial conglomerate involved in consumer and defence electronics, communications, and engineering. The company was a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index.

The Zumtobel Group headquartered in Dornbirn, Austria, is a manufacturer of professional indoor and outdoor lighting, lighting management systems and lighting components as well as LED and OLED technology. The Zumtobel Group includes the subsidiaries of Zumtobel, Thorn, Tridonic, acdc and Reiss.

Guy Hands is an English financier and investor. He is most notable as the founder and chairman of Terra Firma Capital Partners, one of the largest private equity firms in Europe. Hands also previously served as Chairman of the UK music company, EMI.

Electrodeless lamp

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Hydrargyrum medium-arc iodide lamp

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Sulfur lamp

The sulfur lamp is a highly efficient full-spectrum electrodeless lighting system whose light is generated by sulfur plasma that has been excited by microwave radiation. They are a particular type of plasma lamp, and one of the most modern. The technology was developed in the early 1990s, but, although it appeared initially to be very promising, sulfur lighting was a commercial failure by the late 1990s. Since 2005, lamps are again being manufactured for commercial use.

Terra Firma Capital Partners Ltd. (TFCP) is a UK-based private equity firm. Financier Guy Hands founded the firm in 2002 through the spin-off of Nomura Principal Finance Group. The firm, which traces its roots to the formation of its predecessor in 1994, has invested over €14 billion since inception.

Ultra Electronics British company serving the defence, security, transport and energy industries

Ultra Electronics Holdings is a British company serving the defence, security, transport and energy industries. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index.

Ceravision is a privately owned lighting company based in Milton Keynes, UK. Ceravision is the inventor of High Efficiency Plasma (HEP) lighting technology, a new and unique genre of electrodeless lamps, driven by radio frequency (RF) and particularly suited to medium and high power commercial applications.

Plasma lamps are a type of electrodeless gas-discharge lamp energized by radio frequency (RF) power. They are distinct from the novelty plasma lamps that were popular in the 1980s.

Havells Sylvania and formerly SLI, is an international designer and manufacturer of lighting products, trading as Sylvania. It has plants throughout Europe, Asia, North Africa and Central and South America, and is one of the few lighting companies that produces both lamps and lighting fixtures. It is owned by Shanghai Feilo Acoustics Ltd., having previously been owned by the Indian electrical company Havells.

Edison and Swan Electric Light Company

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References

  1. "His Master's Voice" (in German), in Kultur&Technik magazine, April 1998, accessed 2014-04-18
  2. Vintage Technology: Ultra Electric
  3. Competition Commission Report on Thorn Electrical Industries Archived 2009-09-03 at the Wayback Machine
  4. "Company Background". TMD Technologies. TMD Technologies Limited. Archived from the original on 2015-07-09. Retrieved 2015-06-16. TMD can trace its roots back to the early 1940's, when the microwave tube research division of EMI Electronics was established to develop high power klystrons, for use in the first airborne radars being developed during the second world war. [...] In 1989 the company became a wholly owned subsidiary of THORN EMI Electronics [...] In 1995 THORN EMI sold the company to a "Management Buy Out" team, led by the Managing Director, and as TMD Technologies this is now a wholly owned, fully independent private UK company.
  5. EMI: a giant at war with itself Telegraph, 18 January 2008
  6. Solid vote for Thorn demerger Independent, 17 August 1996
  7. Normura will buy Thorn plc The Boston Globe, 1 July 1998
  8. Thorn at Terra Firma

See also