Who’s still standing in the FTSE 100 today?
The benchmark index was born 30 years ago. Many once-familiar names no longer exist but some of the originals still feature on the list. We chart the changes in the blue-chip class since ’84
Became Allied Domecq in 1994 when it bought control of Spain’s Pedro Domecq and its portfolio of brands, notably its sherries. Remained in the FTSE until 2005 when it agreed to a £7.4bn takeover by Pernod Ricard. Parts of its portfolio still in the FTSE through Diageo’s ownership of some of the portfolio.
Associated Dairies Group
This one is now Asda. It bid goodbye to the FTSE 100 in 1999 when it succumbed to a £6.7bn bid from American grocer Wal-Mart. Investors may have cheered, but few others did. Seethe documentary Wal-Mart – The High Cost of Low Price for an explanation.
The housebuilder is still very much with us but has just dropped to the second-tier FTSE 250.
Became Six Continents in 2001 after the sale of the brewing business to Belgium’s Interbrew, but we didn’t have to endure that silly name for long. The group split in 2003. A pub business, Mitchells & Butlers, holds a place in today’s FTSE 250, and InterContinental Hotels, which retained an interest in soft drinks business Britvic before the latter was floated off – it is also in the FTSE 250. InterContinental is in the FTSE 100.
The pharmaceuticals group merged with America’s SmithKline Beckman in 1999, and is today part of GlaxoSmithKline after a 2000 merger with Glaxo Wellcome.
Having sold off its sugar business to blue-chip Associated British Foods in 1991, Berisford succumbed to the corporate penchant for silly names becoming, erm, Enodis in 2000. The company, which produced food making equipment, was bought out by US company Manitowoc (named after a county in Wisconsin) for close to £1bn in 2008.
British Insulated Callender’s Cables was created in 1946 from the merger of British Insulated Cables and rival Callender’s Cables to form a “national champion”, bringing electricity and telephone services to postwar Britain. Struggling by the turn of the century it sold the cable business off to America’s General Cable in 1999. The construction business that remained was Balfour Beatty, now in the second-tier FTSE 250.
Blue Circle Industries
The cement maker won a battle against French cement maker Lafarge’s hostile bid in 2000, only to succumb to a £3.1bn bid from the same source just seven months later.
After seeing off an approach from Germany’s Linde, the industrial gases group agreed to an £8.2bn bid in 2006, then a record for UK takeovers.
Merged with pharmaceutical products distributor Alliance UniChem in 2006 to create Alliance Boots. Its shareholders agreed to an £11.1bn buyout by private equity firm KKR and the company’s chairman Stefano Pessina.
Remains in the FTSE 100 under a different name. Demerged its newsprint and pulp operations as Bowater Inc in the mid-1980s, leaving a ragbag of businesses, the nucleus of which now trades as packing company Rexam.
British Plaster Board, the building materials business, spent most of the 1990s out of the FTSE 100, regaining its place in 2005, only to fall prey to French rival Saint-Gobain.
British & Commonwealth Holdings
A financial services operation established in the 1950s as a shipping business. It crashed and burned after buying Atlantic Computers for £434m in 1988, going into administration in 1990.
Now exists as defence contractor BAE Systems after various deals.
British Electric Traction
Once a conglomerate – it even owned Thames TV – it started divesting bits and pieces when they fell out of favour. In 1996 BET, as it became, was acquired by the much smaller Rentokil through a hostile takeover. The merged company, still in the FTSE 100, became Rentokil Initial.
British Home Stores
Became part of Storehouse following a merger with Habitat Mothercare in 1986. Fourteen years later, it was bought for £200m by retail entrepreneur Sir Philip Green.
The oil independent was bought out by BP in 1988.
The engineering group agreed a £9.4bn merger with Siebe in 1999 to form Invensys, still in the FTSE 100.
Became Arcadia, which agreed to a £770m takeover by Sir Philip Green in 2002.
Cable & Wireless
Exists as Cable & Wireless Communications, part of the old Cable & Wireless Group that emerged in 2010. The other half, Cable & Wireless Worldwide, was bought out by Vodafone in 2012.
Succumbed to a highly controversial £11.5bn takeover by American multinational Kraft Foods in 2010.
Commercial Union Assurance
Merged with General Accident in 1998 to form CGU, which itself merged with Norwich Union two years later. The three of them now trade as the FTSE 100 insurance giant Aviva.
Consolidated Gold Fields
Acquired by Hanson in 1988 for £3.5bn, and the business was broken up.
Split into textiles and chemicals businesses. The former was bought by Wonderbra maker Sara Lee in 2000. The latter was taken out in 1998 by the Dutch firm Akzo Nobel.
Another conglomerate that was gradually broken up through the 1990s. Some of it can still be found in the FTSE 250 biotech Genus.
Infamously taken over by Guinness in the 1986 bid battle that led to the Guinness share-trading scandal.Now part of FTSE 100 drinks giant Diageo.
The insurance company became part of one of the strangest companies to exist on the FTSE 100 when it was taken over by British American Tobacco, which later added Allied Dunbar and US group Farmers to its portfolio. In 1998, it was merged with Zurich Insurance to form Zurich Financial Services.
Edinburgh Investment Trust
Now part of the FTSE 250 index of mid-tier stocks.
English China Clays
The Cornish company specialised in the mining of china clays was taken over by France’s Imetal in 1999 for £756m.
Acquired by British & Commonwealth Holdings. After the latter collapsed, Michael Spencer reversed his Intercapital into the company, which would go on to form the nucleus of current blue-chip Icap.
One of the FTSE 100’s more notorious collapses. After the £400m merger with US defence group International Signal and Control in 1987, a fraud was uncovered at one of the latter’s subsidiaries, leading to a £215m write-off. The firm never recovered and its defence business was sold to GEC in 1990.The rump went into receivership in 1993.
Acquired by a subsidiary of French giant Rhône-Poulenc in 1995 for £1.7bn.
General Accident Fire and Life
See Commercial Union above, with which it merged.
Another collapse. This once-stuffy industrial conglomerate merged its defence business with British Aerospace as part of the formation of BAE Systems in 1999. What remained sought to ride the TMT boom, becoming Marconi. It all went horribly wrong and the banks took control of the business in 2002. Most of the assets were snapped up by Sweden’s Ericsson in 2005. The rump privately owned business is now known as Telent.
Now GlaxoSmithKline, see Beecham above.
Globe Investment Trust
The huge investment trust was suffering from a problem afflicting many of its peers – its shares traded at a discount to the value of the assets it owned. The British Coal Pension Funds sensed an opportunity in 1990 and swooped.
Joined forces with Guinness in 1997 in the £21bn mega-merger that created Diageo.
Great Universal Stores
Mail order and retail business was split into two in 2006, becoming Argos and Homebase owner Home Retail Group and Experian.
Guardian Royal Exchange
Insurer that was bought by France’s Axa in 1999 for £3.4bn.
Hambro Life Assurance
The insurer was formed in 1970 following the merger of Abbey Life and Hambros Bank but is better known by its later name Allied Dunbar. Its fund management business was hived off to form Threadneedle Investments, with the rest of the group being sold on to Zurich Financial Services in 1998.
In 1996, the corporate raider that was a byword for aggressive takeovers broke itself up into The Energy Group, Millennium Chemicals, Hanson, and Imperial Tobacco. The Energy Group fell to Texas Utilities in 1998, Millennium was bought by Cristal, a privately owned chemical company in 2007, and the rump Hanson was gobbled up by Heidelberg Cement in the same year. Imperial Tobacco is the only part still independent, and is in the FTSE 100 now.
Harrisons & Crosfield
Once-great international trading company moved into chemicals, sold off its plantations and re-emerged as Elementis.
Taken over by BTR in 1991. See above for latter’s fate.
House of Fraser
Could return to the FTSE 100, with an IPO lined up for this summer. The department store was bought by a consortium including the chairman Don McCarthy in 2006 for £350m.
Imperial Chemical Industries was once a British bell-wether but agreed to an £8bn takeover by Dutch conglomerate Akzo Nobel in 2007.
Imperial Continental Gas Association
Broken up into Calor and Contibel. The former was taken over by the privately owned Dutch group SHV, the latter by Tractebel, part of French state-controlled giant GDF Suez.
Mini-conglomerate made up of Imperial Tobacco plus a variety of other businesses ranging from restaurants to food services and distribution. Taken over by Hanson in 1986. See above.
The bookie is now in the FTSE 250.
Magnet & Southerns
The kitchen business left the stock market in 1989 following a management buyout. It is now part of Swedish firm Nobia.
Property company that was taken private by BT’s pension fund and America’s GE in 2000 in a £1.9bn deal.
Split into two in 2006, struggling retail part MFI was sold for £1 to private equity while the business part Howden Joinery continued. It became Galiform and is now listed as Howden Joinery.
Rebuffed an unbelievable takeover bid from Saatchi & Saatchi but then succumbed to HSBC in 1992.
National Westminster Bank
In this company lies the genesis of some of Britain’s biggest banking disasters. A £10.7bn bid for Legal & General sparked a hostile bid from Bank of Scotland. Rival RBS won a bitter battle, transformed itself into a megabank and went on a deal spree before it had to be rescued by the taxpayer during the financial crisis. Bank of Scotland secured a tie-up with Halifax as a consolation. HBOS resulted, and that had to be rescued by Lloyds. The latter needed a bailout of its own in the wake of the deal.
Fox’s biscuit and Goodfella’s pizza business was sold to chicken magnate Ranjit Singh Boparan for £342m in 2011.
P&O Steam Navigation
Split its cruise and freight businesses. The former merged with Carnival, the latter was taken over by Dubai’s DP World.
The glass maker, founded in 1826, fended off a takeover by BTR Industries in the mid-1980s, but was snapped up by Japan’s NSG in 2006.
With interests spanning electronics, defence and telecoms, the conglomerate was eventually broken up by GEC and Siemens in 1989.
The concrete maker accepted a £2.3bn bid from Cemex of Mexico in 2004.
Electronics group taken over by Thomson-CSF, now Thales, in 2000 for £1.3bn.
Its successor Rank Group is now in the FTSE 250 index.
Reckitt & Colman
Merger in 1999 turned consumer products group into Reckitt Benckiser.
The building materials group was taken over by Lafarge in 1997. The brand has made a return since the divestment of roofing business Monier by Lafarge in 2008.
Merger turned publisher into Reed Elsevier in 1992.
The confectionery maker behind Aero, Kit Kat, Smarties and Fruit Gums was taken out by Nestlé after bid battle with the Swiss giant and Jacobs Suchard.
Became Royal & SunAlliance following merger with Sun Alliance in 1996. Now RSA Insurance.
Scottish & Newcastle
Taken over by consortium of Carlsberg and Heineken in 2008 for £7.8bn.
The retailer with brands including Richards, Wallis and Warehouse was bought out by Sir Philip Green for £548m in 1999. It was later sold off.
Standard Telephones & Cables
Ailing business was taken over by Canada’s Nortel in 1991.
Once one of Britain’s largest insurance brokers, Sedgwick was acquired by US rival Marsh & McLennan in 1998.
Sun Alliance & London
See Royal Insurance above.
Sun Life Assurance
Having been taken over by French giant Axa, much of the business is now owned by Resolution.
The eponymous road-surfacing material producer became part of miner Anglo American in 2000 and merged with Lafarge UK last year
Demerged in 1996 to become EMI and Thorn Electronics, which was bought by Guy Hands.
The property group owned The Ritz but struggled during the 1990s when it was bought by the Norwegian engineer Kvaerner.
Charles Forte described Granada’s 1996 hostile takeover of the luxury hotels group he had created as a “tragedy”.
Rival Lasmo saw its debts soar after splashing out £1bn for the oil and gas group in a disastrous takeover in 1991.
The McVitie’s Jaffa Cakes maker was devoured by private equity groups Blackstone and PAI for £1.6bn in 2006.
Merged with Taylor Woodrow to form Taylor Wimpey in 2007.
Additional reporting by Nick Goodway, Mark Leftly, Jamie Dunkley and Simon Neville
Names that survived from 1984 to 2014
Associated British Foods
Guest, Keen & Nettlefolds (GKN)
Legal & General
Marks & Spencer
Royal Bank of Scotland
Smith & Nephew
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