TI Group

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TI Group
Industry Engineering
Fate Acquired
Successor Smiths Group
Founded 1919
Defunct 2000
Headquarters Abingdon, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom
Key people
Lord Plowden, (Chairman)

TI Group plc (formerly Tube Investments) was a holding company for specialised engineering companies. It was based in Abingdon, Oxfordshire. It was registered as Tube Investments in 1919, combining the seamless steel tube businesses of Tubes Ltd, New Credenda Tube (later known as Creda), Simplex and Accles & Pollock.[1] In 1928 Reynolds Tube joined the group. Tube Investments was listed on the London Stock Exchange and was a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index. It was acquired by Smiths Group in 2000.


The company was registered as Tube Investments in 1919, combining the seamless steel tube businesses of Tubes Ltd, New Credenda Tube (later known as Creda), Simplex and Accles & Pollock.[1] Reynolds Tube joined the group in 1928 .

Ivan Stedeford joined the company in 1928. He became chief executive in 1935 and chairman in 1944. In 1946, the company bought Swallow Coachbuilding Co. (1935) Ltd. and Hercules Cycles.

The British Cycle Corporation subsidiary was formed in 1956 and consisted of [2] Phillips Cycles, Hercules Cycles (no connection with the German Hercules company), Armstrong, Norman Cycles and Sun Cycles.

In 1954 and 1955 TI subsidiary Swallow Coachbuilding Co. constructed the Swallow Doretti sports car.[3]

The Aluminium War in 1958-9 was a fierce and successful battle to acquire British Aluminium.[4]

Raleigh Industries were acquired in 1960, bringing Raleigh owned brands BSA Cycles, Humber, Triumph, Rudge, New Hudson, Sunbeam Three Spires and J. B. Brookes.[5] In 1963 the company bought Russell Hobbs, kettle manufacturers, and Sir Ivan Stedeford retired as chairman and chief executive officer and became life president.

The Group bought Alfred Herbert Ltd in 1982.[6] In 1986, Tube Investments acquired Houdaille, parent of John Crane and other industrial companies from Kohlberg Kravis Roberts; the non-Crane divisions were sold back to KKR as IDEX.[7] In 1987 Tube Investments acquired Armco Inc.'s European Tubing business – Fulton (UK) and Bundy Corporation (USA); Raleigh was sold in 1987 to Derby International[8] and Creda to GEC.[9]

Then in 1991 it bought Huron Products Industries (USA).[10]

Dowty Group was bought in 1992[11] and in 1996 Accles & Pollock was sold to Hay Hall Group.[1] Over the next few years, the Group acquired Technoflow Tube Systems (Germany), Bundy Asia Pacific, S&H Fabricating and Engineering (USA), Kenmore Italiana (Italy), Walbro Corporation (USA), and Marwal (France).[10]

On 4 December 2000 Smiths Group merged with TI Group.[12] The merger was completed and Smiths divested TI Automotive shortly afterwards.[13]


The three major divisions were:

The group also owned TI Creda, a manufacturer of domestic cookers, and owned TI Chesterfield Cylinders, a manufacturer of pressurised gas cylinders for companies such as BOC and Air Products: the business was sold and the factory moved from Chesterfield to Sheffield.[15]


  1. ^ a b c Accles & Pollock: About us
  2. ^ Hercules
  3. ^ Swallow Doretti
  4. ^ Obituary: Lord Plowden
  5. ^ Raleigh: History
  6. ^ Paragraph 879, House of Commons Debates Hansard, 25 July 1983
  7. ^ Holland, Max (2002). From Industry to Alchemy: Burgmaster, a Machine Tool Company. Beard Books. ISBN 978-1-58798-153-1. 
  8. ^ Raleigh bicycle history
  9. ^ GEC buys Creda business from TI Group, CBR On-Line
  10. ^ a b TI Automotive: Heritage
  11. ^ British engineering merger moves forward
  12. ^ "Engineering rivals to merge". BBC News. 2000-09-18. Retrieved 2006-09-25. 
  13. ^ TI Group plans to sell off auto suppliers
  14. ^ "TI Group plc - Company History". fundinguniverse.com. 1997. Retrieved 2006-09-26. 
  15. ^ MBO in 2004 from German successor to TI Chesterfield Cylinders

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