The key events in the Group’s history and development since incorporation include the following:


The company was founded by Sir Richard Fairey as the Fairey Aviation Company Ltd, with the objective of manufacturing seaplanes

1930s / 1940s

The company achieved renown during the 1930s and 1940s with its aircraft


Following the rationalisation of the aviation industry in the 1950s, the company diversified and established its non-aviation engineering capabilities in areas such as marine, energy and filtration


The business was acquired by Pearson plc and the focus was on high technology businesses such as electronics and systems engineering


Management buy-out from Pearson plc


The company was listed on the London Stock Exchange


During the 1990s, the company concentrated on building its electronics sector, acquiring a number of companies and disposing of the electrical insulator and hydraulic actuator businesses


The company acquired the Burnfield group, a measuring instruments manufacturer of which Malvern was the most significant company


Servomex plc, an industrial instruments manufacturer, was acquired


The acquisition of the four instrumentation and controls businesses of Spectris AG of Germany for £171m was the largest ever made by the company and marked an important strategic addition to the company’s instrumentation and controls business


The reshaping of the group was marked with a change of name to Spectris plc in May 2001. Also in 2001 two of the group’s filtration businesses were sold


Fairey Industrial Ceramics was sold in March 2002
In September 2002 Spectris acquired the Philips Analytical business of Philips, which is now called PANalytical


Spectris acquired the Omega Engineering business


In December 2012, Spectris sold Fusion UV to Heraeus Holding GmbH


Spectris made six acquisitions, including ESG Solutions, a leading supplier of microseismic monitoring equipment and analysis solutions

In September 2016, Spectris acquired Millbrook, a leading provider of vehicle test, validation and engineering services to customers in the automotive, transport, tyre, petrochemical, defence and security industries