From Academic Kids

Textron Template:Nyse is a major US based conglomerate, who, unlike most other conglomerates, remains fairly large today after the "glory years" in the 1960s. Today the company's $10 billion is mostly made up from their aviation interests, namely Bell Helicopter, Cessna, Lycoming (considered part of Bell) and Textron Systems, which makes avionics. They also own a number of seemingly unrelated companies, including Textron Fastening Systems, Greenlee (wire working tools), E-Z-GO golf carts and Jacobsen lawn-care products.

Textron started as a textile company in 1923, when 22-year-old Royal Little founded the Special Yarns Corporation in Boston, Massachusetts. By the start of World War II the company was known as Atlantic Rayon Corporation, and won major contracts for making parachutes. With the wind-down of war production starting in 1943, the company started making civilian products as well, and renamed the company Textron.

In 1952 Little decided to diversify, and in 1953 started an aquisitions policy. In 1953 they bought Burkart Manufacturing, who make cushions for cars. Over the next few years they added Homelite, maker of chainsaws, Camcar, who made fasteners like bolts, Cherry Rivet Company, and CWC, maker of automotive accessories such as camshafts. Branching out, in 1960 they bought Bell Aerospace and E-Z-Go. Little retired later that year, with sales now at $383 million.

His replacement, G. William Miller, continued his policies, and in 1963 had sold off the last of their textile companies. Over the next few years Textron added Sheaffer pens, Bostich, Polaris snowmobiles and venture capital firm American Research and Development. Miller stepped down in 1977 to join Jimmy Carter as Chairman of the Federal Reserve, and later, Secretary of the Treasury. Joseph Collinson replaced him, but retired in 1979.

By this point the aquisitions phase had slowed, and in 1984 the small but cash-flush holding company made a bid to buy all of Textron. The bid eventually failed due to a lack of cash, but the company was "in play" and it was only a matter of time before another, larger, buyer was successful. Textron management decided to take a poison pill, and in November they bought Avco, another conglomorate roughly the same size. Textron was now too large to be easily bought, and was in enough debt to make a takeover unattractive. However it also made the company uncompetitive, and in the late 1980s several of their smaller companies were sold off.

In 1989, James Hardymon became CEO, and bought Cessna in 1992. He also sold off many remaning "non-core" companies, focusing on aviation, avionics and automotive parts. Internal mergers resulted in several larger companies from many smaller ones, including Textron Automotive Company and Textron Fastener Systems.no:Textron


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