Acquisition by Philips


Various factors, such as the disastrous TV rental arrangements with the Gibbard company and the Ekco acquisition with insufficient due diligence, had placed the Pye company's finances in some jeopardy.

In November 1966 the poor state of Pye Group finances was revealed at the AGM following a Cooper Brothers financial report on the company.

As a consequence, CO Stanley had resigned from the company by May 1966 and following the publication of the financial report John Stanley was voted from his position as Deputy Chairman at the AGM held at the Connaught Rooms in London.

Almost immediately Philips made a bid for entire Pye Group.

In December 1966 Thorn made a counter bid followed by an immediate increase in the Philips offer. In February 1967 the Pye Board recommended acceptance of Philips offer.

Initially Philips was not able to acquire all the Pye shares, primarily because of the stance of UK Government. So, from 1967 most Pye companies operated semi-independently retaining the Pye name. This phase lasted for 10 to 20 years according to the individual company.

Philips acquired all the remaining Pye Shares by 1978.

Philips did not complete the absorption of the Pye Group until 1986.

John Stanley arriving for the AGM in November 1966

A copy of the Poll Card used at the Pye AGM

Philips at this time was an enormous company, with some 450,000 employees worldwide. However Philips itself was now coming under some scrutiny. As a consequence it began to turn its attention to companies that didn't really reflect its core activities or were not providing a sufficiently healthy return on investment.

As a result many of the Pye activities moved into the potential divestment category.

Three broad phases of treatment for the various Pye companies followed the Philips take-over: -

Stand alone independence of Pye companies

Integration of Pye companies into Philips organisations

Divestment of former Pye companies

These phases happened at different times for different Pye Group Companies.

Rebranding Changes

Examples of straightforward Pye to Philips rebranding on Pye Telecom Portable equipment.

Examples of cautious cross-branding on Pye Unicam product brochures.

Both the Pye Unicam and Philips logos were used side by side for a number of years to maintain market acceptance.

Eventually the Pye Unicam branding was removed completely.

Some product lines, particularly with certain consumer products, continued marketing under the Pye brand for many years after the Philips acquisition.

Even when in competition with Philips own branded, equivalent products.