Corus Group plc History

30 Millbank
London SW1P 4WY
United Kingdom

Telephone: (44) 20-7717-4444
Fax: (44) 20-7717-4455

Public Company
Incorporated: 1967 as the British Steel Corporation
Employees: 64,900
Sales: $17.49 billion (2000)
Stock Exchanges: London New York Amsterdam
Ticker Symbols: CS (London, Amsterdam); CGA (New York)
NAIC: 331111 Iron and Steel Mills

Company Perspectives:

Corus aims to be an innovative company with a strong customer focus, providing metal solutions to an increasingly sophisticated marketplace. The Corus strategy is targeted at creating shareholder value by achieving world class competitiveness through operating excellence and technological advance. The emphasis is on achieving leading positions in attractive market sectors where sustainable growth can be achieved.

Key Dates:

A group of manufacturers in The Netherlands establish a national iron and steel business, Koninklijke Nederlandsche Hoogovens en Staalfabrieken NV.
Hoogovens first begins producing pig iron.
Hoogovens launches a fertilizer factory, Mekog.
Hoogovens establishes a cement factory.
Hoogovens begins producing steel.
Hoogovens establishes Breedband NV, a subsidiary that produced hot strip, cold band, and tinning materials; The Iron and Steel Corporation of Great Britain is established as a state-owned holding company for newly nationalized steel companies that had formerly been in the private sector.
Great Britain begins re-privatizing its steel companies, selling them off primarily to former shareholders.
Hoogovens opens its oxysteel factory, which employed a new production method.
Great Britain again nationalizes its steel industry, forming the British Steel Corporation.
Hoogovens joins with German steelmaker Hoesch Dortmund to form Estel, the fourth largest steel company in Europe.

Early 1980s:Hoogovens dissolves its joint venture with Hoesch Dortmund.
Hoogovens expands its aluminum division; the British government announces plans to privatize British Steel Corporation.
Hoogovens sells off all businesses but those pertaining to aluminum and steel; British Steel Corporation is privatized as British Steel plc.
British Steel announces plans to expand in Latin America, central Europe, and Asia.
British Steel builds its first steelmaking facility outside the United Kingdom, in Alabama; it begins a program of job reductions to keep costs down.
British Steel and Hoogovens merge, forming Corus Group.
Corus merges its stainless steel subsidiary with a Finnish stainless producer to form AvestaPolarit.
Faced with heavy losses and a weak market, Corus announces massive cuts in production and jobs.
Corus announces that it plans to sell its aluminum businesses.

Company History:

Further Reading:

  • Abromeit, Heidrun, British Steel, Leamington Spa: Berg Publishers, 1986.
  • Bryer, R.A., et al., Accounting for British Steel, Aldershot: Gower Publishing, 1982.
  • de Vries, Joh., "From Keystone to Cornerstone. Hoogovens Ijmuiden 1918-1968. The Birth and Development of a Basic Industry in the Netherlands," in Acta Historiae Neerlandicae, The Hague: Brill Academic Publishers, 1973.
  • ------, Hoogovens Ijmuiden, 1918-1968. Ontstaan en groei van een basisindustrie, Amsterdam: KNHS, 1968.
  • Heal, David W., The Steel Industry in Post-War Britain, London: David & Charles, 1974.
  • Heerding, A., Cement in Nederland, Amsterdam: CEMIJ, 1971.
  • Moffit, Brian, "Corus Takes Crucial Steps for Its Future," Steel Times, June 2001, p. 190.
  • Ovenden, Keith, The Politics of Steel, London: Macmillan, 1978.
  • Vaizey, John, The History of British Steel, London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1974.
  • van Elteren, Mel C.M., Staal en Arbeid. Een sociaal-historische studie naar industriële accomodatieprocessen onder arbeiders en het desbetreffende bedrijfsbeleid bij Hoogovens 1924-1966, Leiden: Brill, 1986.

Source: International Directory of Company Histories, Vol. 49. St. James Press, 2003.