GEC Plessey Telecommunications

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This article is about the 1988 founded joint venture between GEC and Plessey which would evolve into Marconi Communications. For the 1998 founded subsidiary of GEC (later in 1999, a subsidiary of Marconi plc), see Marconi Communications.
GEC Plessey Telecommunications (GPT)
Former type Joint Venture
Industry telecommunications
Fate Merged into Marconi Communications
(1998)
Amalgamated into Siemens Communications
(1998)
Predecessors GEC
Plessey
Successors Marconi Communications
Siemens Communications
Founded 1988
Defunct 1998
Owners GEC / Plessey(50/50)
(1988 - 1989)
GEC / Siemens(60/40)
(1989 - 1998)
GEC
(1998)

GEC Plessey Telecommunications (GPT) was founded in 1988 as a joint venture between GEC and the British electronics, defence and telecommunications company Plessey. A joint holding company of GEC and the German conglomerate Siemens AG acquired Plessey a year later, and GPT was converted into a 60/40 GEC/Siemens joint venture.

During the mid-1990s, the name GPT gradually disappeared in the UK. By October 1997, the company evolved into Siemens GEC Communication Systems (SCGS); later in 1998 it amalgamated into the largest division of Siemens - Siemens Communications, and eventually Siemens Enterprise Communications in 2008.

In August 1998, GEC acquired the 40% stake of Siemens in GPT (by now only existing as a legal entity), and merged it into its newly founded subsidiary Marconi Communications.[1][2] Through a series of mergers, divisions and restructuring in 1998/1999, GEC was renamed to Marconi plc, which was again restructured to Marconi Corporation plc in May 2003. Eventually in 2005, Marconi Corporation plc along with its subsidiary Marconi Communications, was sold to Ericsson[3] and the remainder was renamed Telent plc.

History[edit]

Plessey takeover bid and formation of GPT : 1987-1989[edit]

The evolution of GPT can be traced to 1986, when the General Electric Company (GEC) attempted a takeover of Plessey, a British-based international electronics, defence and telecommunications company founded in 1917. The takeover bid was barred by regulatory authorities. As an amicable solution, GEC and Plessey merged their telecommunications businesses on 1 April 1988 as GEC Plessey Telecommunications (commonly to be known as GPT). GPT was a world leader in many fields, for example Synchronous Digital Hierarchy (SDH) technology, and this brought the two companies responsible for developing and building the System X telephone exchange together, which was supposed to make selling System X simpler.

GPT - a GEC/Siemens joint venture : 1989 - 1998[edit]

In 1989, GEC and the German conglomerate Siemens made a hostile takeover of the Plessey Company through their joint holding company, GEC Siemens plc. While most of Plessey's assets were divided between the companies (see : Plessey#Break-up of the business), GPT remained a joint venture with a 60/40 shareholding by GEC and Siemens respectively. GEC Plessey Telecommunications officially renamed itself GPT, which would continue to exist merely as a legal entity and slowly lose its prominence as a brand name.[4][5]

Split into Marconi Communications and Siemens Communications : 1998 - 2006[edit]

During the mid-1990s the name GPT gradually disappeared in the UK, and by October 1997 the joint venture, through a series of Siemens mergers and acquisitions, evolved into Siemens GEC Communication Systems (SGCS), which later in 1998 merged into Siemens Business Communication Systems (SBCS) to form the largest division of Siemens AG - Siemens Communications.

In August 1998 GEC acquired Siemens' 40% stake in GPT (by now only existing as a legal entity) and merged GPT with the telecoms units of its other subsidiaries, namely Marconi SpA, GEC Hong Kong and ATC South Africa to form Marconi Communications. In December 1999, GEC's defence arm Marconi Electronic Systems was amalgamated with British Aerospace to form BAE Systems. The entity left out of GEC was renamed to Marconi plc, and Marconi Communications became its principal subsidiary.

Marconi plc decided to focus on the then-booming telecoms sector, but its acquisition during the dot-com bubble took a heavy toll on Marconi following the “burst of the dot-com bubble” in 2000/2001. On 19 May 2003, Marconi plc underwent a major restructuring into Marconi Corporation plc.[6] In 2005, the company failed to secure any part of BT's 21st Century Network (21CN) programme, which sent the company's shares tumbling.[7][8] The majority of Marconi Corporation's businesses (including Marconi Communications) were sold to Ericsson in 2005,[3] and the remainder renamed Telent plc. On 27 October 2006, the company wound up voluntarily.[9]

The part of GPT which evolved into Siemens Communications would eventually merge into Siemens Enterprise Communications in 2008.

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "History of GEC". Retrieved 12 July 2012. 
  2. ^ "Funding Universe - History of Marconi plc". fundinguniverse.com. Retrieved 14 July 2012. 
  3. ^ a b Oates, John (25 October 2005). "Ericsson buys Marconi". Theregister.co.uk. Retrieved 5 June 2010. 
  4. ^ The Integration of Acquired Companies Into the Defence Industry: Experiences. Retrieved 16 July 2012.  by Karin Backlund, Madelene Sandstro
  5. ^ "‘The DECCA Legacy’ A view from inside the RADAR company -DECCA - BAE SYSTEMS (1949 - 2009)". Retrieved 16 July 2012. 
  6. ^ "SEC filing - Marconi Corporation plc". brand.edgar-online.com. Retrieved 14 July 2012. 
  7. ^ "Marconi discussing £600m buy-out". BBC News. 7 August 2005. Retrieved 5 June 2010. 
  8. ^ Le Maistre, Ray (27 April 2005). "Analyst: Marconi in Line for 21CN". Light Reading. Retrieved 2006-11-28. 
  9. ^ "Marconi(2003) plc information in KPMG website". fundinguniverse.com. Retrieved 14 July 2012.