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IMI plc (LSEIMI), formerly Imperial Metal Industries, is a British-based engineering company headquartered in Birmingham, England. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index.

IMI plc
Public company
Traded asLSEIMI
HeadquartersBirmingham, England
Key people
Lord Smith (Chairman)
Mark Selway (CEO)
Revenue£1,751.0 million (2017)[1]
£239.2 million (2017)[1]
£162.2 million (2017)[1]
Number of employees
10,670 (2017)[1]



The Company was founded by Scottish entrepreneur George Kynoch who opened a percussion cap factory in Witton, West Midlands in 1862, trading as Kynoch.[2] The business soon diversified, manufacturing goods ranging from soap and bicycle components to non-ferrous metals, but by the early 20th century it had developed particular expertise in metallurgy.[2]After World War I it merged with Nobel Industries.[2] In 1926 the Company acquired Eley Brothers, an ammunition business.[3] The Company, by then known as Nobel Explosives, was one of the four businesses that merged in 1927 to create Imperial Chemical Industries.[2] The Witton site became the head office of ICI Metals.[2] During the Second World War the Witton site was used for the development and production of uranium for the Tube Alloys project.[4]

In the 1950s the company's researchers perfected the process for producing titanium on a commercial basis.[2] In 1958 ICI Metals bought 50% of Yorkshire Imperial Metals: it acquired the other 50% four years later.[5]

The name Imperial Metal Industries Limited (IMI for short) was adopted on the 100th anniversary of the firm in 1962.[2] The Company was listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1966.[2] Initially ICI retained a majority holding, but in 1978 IMI became fully independent.[2] In the 1990s the Company disposed of its more basic businesses such as metal smelting and metal founding.[2]

In 2003, IMI moved from the Witton site to new headquarters close to Birmingham Airport.[6]

The company announced in October 2013 that a decade-long programme of transformation had been completed with the disposal of two non-core subsidiaries to Berkshire Hathaway for £690m.[7] The disposal of the Cornelius Group, a beverage-dispensing machine business, together with the disposal of a marketing intelligence business, would enable the company to focus on its control valve making business.[8]

Business platformsEdit

Former IMI entrance at Perry Barr

The company now has three business divisions:[9]

  • Critical engineering: Critical engineering division
  • Precision engineering: Precision engineering division
  • Hydronic engineering: Hydronic engineering division


  1. ^ a b c d "Annual Report 2017" (PDF). IMI. Retrieved 26 March 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "History". IMI. Retrieved 10 March 2014.
  3. ^ "About us". Eley. Retrieved 10 March 2014.
  4. ^ The Pre-Harwell Era. New Scientist. 15 August 1957.
  5. ^ "I.C.I. and Yorkshire Copper Works", The Times, 4 January 1958, p. 12
  6. ^ Records of IMI [Imperial Metal Industries] PLC and subsidiary companies, 1865–1973, Walsall Local History Centre (Reference Code: 1000)
  7. ^ "IMI boss says decade-long transformation complete". The Telegraph. 16 October 2013. Retrieved 10 March 2014.
  8. ^ "Berkshire Hathaway buys UK's IMI". The Telegraph. 17 October 2013. Retrieved 10 March 2014.
  9. ^ "Our businesses". IMI. Retrieved 10 March 2014.

External linksEdit