Tomkins plc

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Tomkins plc
Public limited company
HeadquartersLondon, United Kingdom
Key people
David Newlands (chairman)
James Nicol (CEO)
RevenueUS$4,180.1 million (2009)[1]
US$84.7 million (2009)[1]
US$(15.6) million (2009)[1]
OwnerOnex and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board
Number of employees
circa 30,000[1]

Tomkins plc was a multinational engineering company headquartered in London, United Kingdom. Its largest division is Industrial & Automotive, which is a major supplier of automotive components and trades primarily under the Dexter Axle, Gates, Ideal Clamp Products and Schrader Electronics brands.[1] Its Building Products division is a major supplier of air distribution products and systems and bath products and trades primarily under the Aquatic brand. In July 2010 Tomkins was acquired by a Canadian consortium of private equity firm Onex Corporation and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board. In July 2014, The Blackstone Group, the world's largest buyout firm, agreed to acquire The Gates Corporation, the largest division of Tomkins plc from Onex Corp. (OCX) and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board for $5.4 billion.[2]


Tomkins was founded in 1925 as F.H. Tomkins Buckle Company, a small manufacturer of buckles and fasteners.[3] It was first listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1956.

In 1983, ex-Lord Hanson employee Greg Hutchings acquired a 22.9% stake in the company, and subsequently was appointed Chief executive.[4] Hutchings expanded Tomkins in a classical conglomerate form through leveraged buyouts, and during the 1980s and early 1990s the company embarked on a succession of acquisitions which rapidly grew its revenue, product range and global reach. Major acquisitions included Smith & Wesson in 1987,[5] RHM in 1992,[6] the US-based Gates Corporation in 1996,[7] which signalled a move into the industrial and automotive markets, and the Stant[8] and Schrader[9] businesses that further bolstered this division. During this era, Tomkins was regarded as the archetypal multi-industrial conglomerate, with a portfolio of assets that had little or nothing in common with one another – and indeed the media delighted in referring to Tomkins as the "buns-to-guns" company[10] because of its ownership of RHM (baking) and Smith & Wesson (firearms).

Hutchings was forced to resign from the Company in 2000, over a series of false allegations of executive excess.[4] Tomkins sold RHM shortly thereafter,[6] and Smith & Wesson the following year.[5]

After an unsolicited approach, in July 2010 Tomkins was acquired by a Canadian consortium of private equity firm Onex Corporation and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board for £2.9 billion.[11]

In November 2012, Tomkins sold their portion of the Building Products group that included: Hart and Cooley, Selkirk and Ruskin to the CPPIB.[12]


Tomkins has two business groups:

  • Industrial and automotive: the larger business, producing products primarily for the automotive industry.
  • Bath products: produces products including pipes, baths and windows.


  1. ^ a b c d e "Annual Report 2009" (PDF). Tomkins plc. Retrieved 26 September 2010.
  2. ^ Banerjee, Devin (4 April 2014). "Blackstone Agrees to Buy Gates Global in $5.4 Billion LBO". Bloomberg.
  3. ^ Tomkins: History
  4. ^ a b Hutchings forced to quit
  5. ^ a b Smith & Wesson is sold to maker of Trigger Locks
  6. ^ a b Tomkins sells RHM for £1.1bn
  7. ^ Tomkins agrees to buy Gates Rubber
  8. ^ Tomkins to buy Stant
  9. ^ Deal for equipment maker
  10. ^ Tomkins loses buns-to-guns tag with sale of RHM to Doughty Hanson
  11. ^ "Tomkins agrees to £2.9bn takeover deal". BBC News. 27 July 2010. Retrieved 27 July 2010.
  12. ^ "CPPIB and Onex Announce Completion of Agreement Involving Tomkins' Air Distribution Division" (PDF). Retrieved 29 November 2012.

External links[edit]