Weir Group

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The Weir Group PLC
Public (LSEWEIR)
Industry Engineering
Founded 1871
Headquarters Glasgow, Scotland
Key people
Charles Berry, (Chairman)
Keith Cochrane,[1] (CEO)
William Weir (Former Chairman)
Revenue £2,438.2 million (2014)[2]
£449.8 million (2014)[2]
£74.7 million (2014)[2]
Number of employees
circa 14,000 (2012)[3]

The Weir Group plc is an engineering company headquartered in Glasgow, Scotland. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index. The company operates in over 70 countries employing approximately 14,000 people focused on mining, oil and gas and power markets.


Weir boiler feedwater pump

The company was established in 1871 as an engineering firm by two brothers, George and James Weir, founding G. & J. Weir Ltd.[4] The Weir brothers produced numerous groundbreaking inventions in pumping equipment, primarily for the Clyde shipyards and the steam ships built there. These pumps became extremely well known for their use as boiler feedwater pumps, and for ship's auxiliary equipment such as evaporators.

Under W D Weir, the company turned to producing munitions and war materiel in the First World War. As well as shells, they manufactured aircraft including the Royal Aircraft Factory F.E.2 fighter and bomber.

James George Weir (aviator, son of James Galloway Weir) a director of the company formed the Cierva Autogiro Company. G & J Weir would be a financial supporter of the company during its existence. In 1943, they provided the finances for the construction of the W.9, an experimental helicopter, to Air Ministry requirements.

It was first listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1946.[4] Double-acting Weir steam pumps were virtually standard fitment on British-built steamships, being used for pumping water, fuel, air and much else well into the 1950s, as well as being used on other ships worldwide.

In December 1968 the Weir Group made an offer to buy the rival British pump manufacturer Worthington-Simpson, following an offer by Studebaker-Worthington.[5] In 1969 Studebaker-Worthington acquired Worthington-Simpson.[6] After some negotiation, Weir's acquired 50% of Worthington Simpson.[7] A new joint-venture company named Worthington Weir was set up to handle international sales of the two parent companies.[8]

The debt taken on by Weir to acquire their share of Worthington-Simpson was denominated in deutchmarks, and as that currency strengthened against sterling and the dollar it became increasingly expensive to service.[9] Worthington-Simpson was profitable, but did not cover the cost of debt.[10] During the next decade Weir was forced to sell off many assets and undertook financial recorganization in 1981.[11] After the financial reorganization, Derald Ruttenberg and Jacob Rothschild gained effective control of 40% of the company. Ruttenberg became a board member.[12]

21st century[edit]

In recent years, the company has undergone significant reorganisation both operationally and in terms of its geographic footprint.

In July 2005, Weir sold its desalination and water treatment businesses, (Weir Westgarth, Weir Entropie and Weir Envig) to Veolia Water Systems, part of the water division of Veolia Environnement: Weir Westgarth had been a pioneer of the multi-stage flash distillation process used predominately to produce desalinated water from seawater.[13]

In May 2007, the Company sold its Glasgow-based business Weir Pumps to Jim McColl's Clyde Blowers plc, with the pump company subsequently being renamed to Clyde Pumps Ltd.[14]

Recent acquisitions

Transaction Date
Purchased Pompe Gabbioneta, an Italian pump manufacturer for £69m in 2005.[15] 2005
In 2007 Weir acquired SPM Flow Control, Inc for US$653 million (£328 million). SPM manufactures high-pressure well service pumps

and related flow control equipment[16]

Acquired African pumps business, CH Warman Pump Group for $231m (£113m)[17] 2007
Acquired Mesa Manufacturing Inc, the Texan based pump manufacturer for $40m[18] 2008
Bought Malaysia-based Linatex for £138m[19] 2010
Agreed to acquire Indian valves manufacturing business, BDK Engineering Industries, Hubli[20] 2010
In November, 2010, Company announced acquisition of American Hydro Corporation, which makes turbines for hydro-electric power stations.[21] 2010
In November 2010 Weir and Shengli Oilfield Highland Petroleum Equipment Co. announced the formation of a joint venture to provide

high-pressure well service pumps and related flow control equipment to the developing shale gas industry in China.[22]

Agreed to acquire a 60% interest in the South Korean valves business formerly operated by HIM Tech Co Ltd.[23] 2011
Purchased Seaboard Holdings Inc a Houston-based wellhead solutions provider for US$675m (£431m)[24] 2011

In December 2010, Weir pleaded guilty to breaching UN sanctions on Iraq between 2000 and 2002. Judge Lord Carloway of The High Court in Edinburgh fined the company £3m along with a confiscation order of £13.9m.[25]


With effect from 1 May 2008, the Weir Group reorganised its operating units into three sector- focused divisions in the higher growth markets of mining, oil & gas and power & industrials:[26]

Weir Minerals - manufactures slurry handling equipment and associated spare parts for abrasive high wear applications used in mining as well as in the niche oil sands and flue gas desulphurisation markets. Products include pumps, hydro cyclones, valves, de-watering equipment and wear resistant linings. The division is present in key mining markets, including South and North America, Australia and Africa.

Weir Oil & Gas - designs and manufactures pumps and ancillary equipment for global upstream and downstream oil and gas markets.

Upstream operations specialise in high-pressure well service pumps and related flow control equipment along with repairs, parts and service of pressure control and rotating equipment. Downstream focuses on design and manufacture of centrifugal pumps, mainly for the refining industry. Principal operations are in North America, Europe and the Middle East.

Weir Power & Industrial designs, manufactures and supports specialist and critical-service rotating and flow control equipment, in the main, to the global power sector. The division includes valve operations, a specialist pump business and service and aftermarket operations and is one of only a few businesses globally capable of providing specialist valves into the nuclear islands of third generation nuclear power stations. Facilities are located in Europe, North America, China, Middle East, India and South Africa.

GEHO pump assembly


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Weir adapts to a changing environment Financial Times, 2 June 2011
  2. ^ a b c "Preliminary Results 2014" (PDF). Weir Group. Retrieved 21 March 2015. 
  3. ^ Weir Group: About us
  4. ^ a b Weir Group: Fact Sheet
  5. ^ Weir 2008, p. 84.
  6. ^ A History of Excellence: Flowserve.
  7. ^ Weir 2008, p. 86.
  8. ^ Worthington Simpson: Grace's Guide.
  9. ^ Weir 2008, p. 110.
  10. ^ Weir 2008, p. 111.
  11. ^ Weir 2008, p. xvii.
  12. ^ Weir 2008, pp. 144-145.
  13. ^ Weir Group to sell water treatment businesses to Veolia
  14. ^ "BBC NEWS - UK - Scotland - Glasgow and West - Former apprentice buys Weir pumps". Retrieved 21 March 2015. 
  15. ^ Weir splashes out in oil takeover
  16. ^ Weir to buy SPM Flow Control for $653 million Market Watch, 21 June 2007
  17. ^ Pump Purchase The Engineer, 4 December 2007
  18. ^ Weir Group buys Mesa Manufacturing Growth Business, 24 June 2008
  19. ^ Weir to buy Malaysian Linatex Group for $172.5 million; sees higher H2 profit International Business Times, 14 June 2010
  20. ^ UK-based Weir Group buys BDK Engineering's valve biz Press Trust of India, 2 September 2010
  21. ^ "Weir Group acquires American hydro firm". Added Latest acquisition (BBC). 18 November 2010. Retrieved 19 November 2010. 
  22. ^ Weir and Shengli announces joint venture to provide services to gas industry China Greentech Initiative, 25 November 2010
  23. ^ Weir Group acquires South Korean valves business BBC, 22 June 2011
  24. ^ Weir buys US firm in £431m deal BBC, 23 November 2011
  25. ^ "Weir Group fined £3m over Saddam sanctions breaches". BBC News. 15 December 2010. 
  26. ^ Weir Group: Divisions


External links[edit]