Famous name makes final bow

ONE of the best-known names in UK industry disappeared from the stock market yesterday as Marconi completed the sale of most of its assets to Ericsson.

ONE of the best-known names in UK industry disappeared from the stock market yesterday as Marconi completed the sale of most of its assets to Ericsson.

The Swedish company secured the Marconi trademark along with the UK company's expertise in network equipment technology in the deal, which was first announced in October.

The remainder of the Marconi business has been renamed Telent, by which name it will appear on the London Stock Market from today.

Ericsson, which is also initially taking on 6,660 of Marconi's employees although job losses are expected to follow the deal, has yet to decide what it will do with the company name.


You may also want to watch:


An Ericsson spokeswoman said: “The brand is part of the deal and we will use it in some way, but how we are still investigating.”

Staff transferring to Ericsson, including those at Coventry, Beeston, Liverpool and Chorley, received letters from the company's chief executive Carl-Henric Svanberg welcoming them to the business yesterday.

Most Read

However, they face an uncertain future as Ericsson expects a reduction of between 15% to 20% in the combined workforce.

The services arm being retained as Telent will utilise other staff at Coventry and Chorley as well as the former Marconi site at Basildon. Its customer base includes BT, Cable & Wireless and NTL.

The assets sale to Ericsson wrote the final chapter for a company which traced its roots back to 1885 when Italian Guglielmo Marconi managed to transmit a signal from his family's home to a receiver in a field more than a mile away.

The subsequent business became part of industrial giant General Electric Company in 1968, but fell on hard times after a number of acquisitions in the communications sector and the sale of Marconi Electronic Systems to British Aerospace - creating the present BAE Systems group - in 1999.

In the end it found itself too small to compete with the likes of Ericsson, which will now be able to bolster its position in the transmission segment and expand its work in developing next generation networks.

Mr Svanberg said: “This is a powerful combination that will bring value to Ericsson as well as our customers who will substantially benefit from the combination of the two companies.”

Around half of Marconi's 4,000-strong workforce in the UK will switch to Ericsson as a result of the deal.

A return of cash to Marconi (Telent) shareholders following the Ericsson deal will take place in the first quarter of 2006.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus