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Marconi Case

In: Business and Management

Submitted By lesliana19
Words 2736
Pages 11
Extended Case Study 6
The rise and fall of Marconi

There can be few who are not aware of the spectacular crash of Marconi, which, in the space of two years, went from a share value of £12.50 to under 2p, a stock market valuation of £35bn to just a few million pounds, and a profit of £750m to a loss of some £5.6bn, one of the biggest in UK corporate history. Marconi grew out of GEC, the giant industrial conglomerate built by Arnold Weinstock. In a period when the UK’s industrial competitiveness, and its base, declined, GEC was one of the UK’s leading and most successful industrial enterprises. Weinstock, who died in 2002 at the age of 77, created GEC and was the UK’s leading industrialist for over 30 years. Weinstock graduated from the London School of Economics in 1944. He worked for the admiralty for three years before moving into property development. In 1954, he joined his father-in-law’s firm, Radio and Allied Industries, where he built a strong reputation for his managerial abilities. In 1961, the firm made a reverse takeover of the larger but struggling GEC. Weinstock became GEC’s Managing Director, a post he held for over 30 years until he retired in 1996. In his period as Managing Director, he turned GEC into one of the great British success stories, through a combination of acquisition and organic growth. In 1961, GEC took over AEI, and in 1968 they bought English Electric, the owners of Marconi. GEC’s acquisitions continued into the 1970s and 1980s. Under Weinstock, GEC acquired a portfolio of solid, well-regarded and profitable companies, including Hotpoint, Avery, Metropolitan Vickers, Yarrow Shipbuilders and Marconi. GEC’s last purchase under Weinstock was the VSEL shipyard at Jarrow, reflecting its commitment to maintaining the strength of its defence businesses, which accounted for some 50 per cent of sales and profits....

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