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The Growth and Dissolution of a Large-Scale Business EnterpriseThe Furness Interest, 1892-1919$
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Gordon Boyce

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780986497391

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9780986497391.001.0001

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Diversification into the Industrial Sector, 1895-1901

Diversification into the Industrial Sector, 1895-1901

(p.55) Chapter 3 Diversification into the Industrial Sector, 1895-1901
The Growth and Dissolution of a Large-Scale Business Enterprise

Gordon Boyce

Liverpool University Press

This chapter follows the diversification of the Furness Group into the industrial sector between 1895 and 1901, as it accumulated coal, steel, engineering, and shipbuilding firms. This period saw a tremendous surge in British and American industrial merges, dubbed merger mania, and so the chapter begins by addressing the differences between their respective surges. It then outlines Furness’ plan to diversify the firm’s interests, tackling it section by section. It explores the pattern of acquisitions; the role of company promoters; Furness’ own work as a promoter of industrial and shipping enterprises and the growth of his trade network; and the form of public floats. It concludes that in contrast to the industrialists who took advantage of the financial boom to liquidate investments, Furness used the growing confidence in the investment community to expand his presence in the primary sector of the economy whilst continuing to form new shipping ventures.

Keywords:   Shipping Mergers, Merger Mania, Shipping Promoters, British Shipping Networks, American Shipping Networks

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