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Tyneside-originated Cookson set to de-merge
ONE of the UK’s oldest industrial companies, which started life as a glass and metal firm on Tyneside in the 18th century, has announced plans to split itself in two.
Steel and electronics firm Cookson's fast-growing performance materials arm will be spun off under the name Alent, leaving the rest of the company to take the name of its Vesuvius engineered ceramics arm, which accounts for two-third of sales.
It is thought both companies should be big enough to be listed in the FTSE 250 Index, with shareholders getting stakes in each business.
Cookson can trace its origins back three centuries when it began as a metal and glass operation in Tyneside. Formerly known as Lead Industries, it was primarily a paint business between 1930 and 1973.
The Alent arm, which takes its name from its two main trading brands, Alpha and Enthone, makes the high-performance materials used in circuit boards. It is headquartered in Woking, Surrey and has 2,500 staff in 23 factories worldwide. Revenues were £814 million in its last financial year.
London-based Vesuvius, which has 12,100 staff globally, was the cause of a recent profits warning from Cookson after a slide in European steel production. It makes the pipes and valves that control the molten steel as it flows through the steel mill.
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