Vesuvius plc

Vesuvius plc
Traded as LSE: VSVS
Industry Materials technology
Founded 1704
Headquarters London, UK
Key people
John McDonough, Chairman
François Wanecq, CEO
Revenue £1,322.0 million (2015)[1]
£124.0 million (2015)[1]
£54.0 million (2015)[1]

Vesuvius plc is a leading engineered ceramics company headquartered in London whose products are used by steelmakers and foundries as well as in the glass and solar energy industries. The Company is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index.


The Vesuvius head office in Fleet Street

The Company was founded by Isaac Cookson in 1704 as a collection of metal and glass businesses on Tyneside.[2] In 1851 the Company diversified into lead manufacturing. In 1924 it merged with Lock Lancaster and W.W. & R. Johnson & Sons to form Associated Lead Manufacturers. It was first listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1930.[3] In 1966 it was renamed Lead Industries Group and in 1979 it acquired the A.J. Oster Company, a non-ferrous metal producer.[2] In 1982 it changed its name again to Cookson Group[3] and in 1987 it bought the Vesuvius Crucible Company, a ceramics supplier.[3]

Sir Robert Malpas was Chairman of the Group from 1991 to 1998, simultaneously serving as Co-Chairman of Eurotunnel from 1996 to 1998.[4]

In 2005 the Cookson Group chose to focus on high technology products and emerging markets.[3] In 2008 it went on to acquire Foseco, a supplier to the foundry and steel industries.[5]

In December 2012 Cookson Group changed its name to Vesuvius, the former performance materials division was demerged to form a new company called Alent and the name Cookson ceased to be used.[6][7]


The Company's operations are formed into four activities: Steel Flow Control, Foundry Technologies, Advanced Refractories and Precious Metals Processing.[8]


  1. 1 2 3 "Annual Report 2015" (PDF). Vesuvius plc. Retrieved 16 April 2016.
  2. 1 2 Cookson America Profile
  3. 1 2 3 4 Cookson Group History
  4. 'MALPAS, Sir Robert', in Who's Who 2012 (London: A. & C. Black, 2012)
  5. "Cookson to buy Foseco". Reuters UK. Retrieved 3 April 2015.
  6. "Vesuvius". ADVFN. Retrieved 3 April 2015.
  7. Super User. "Cookson becomes Vesuvius". Retrieved 3 April 2015.
  8. "Vesuvius - about us". Retrieved 3 April 2015.
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