Sunday, November 20, 2011

Surridge Dawson (Holdings) Ltd.

Wm. Dawson & Sons Ltd. was established about 1809 and P. W. J. Surridge & Sons Ltd. in 1905. In 1933 the wholesale newspaper trade of Wm. Dawson & Sons Ltd. and the entire trade of P. W. J. Surridge & Sons Ltd. were amalgamated into a new company, Surridge Dawson & Co., Ltd. In its first year of operation, the turnover of the newly-formed company was less than £lm but by 1962 its turnover had increased to over £6m.

In 1963, the London wholesale newsagency trade of Surridge Dawson was combined with the London wholesale trade of George Vickers Ltd. of Brixton in a new company, Surridge Vickers Ltd. The operation of this company was not financially successful and arrangements were made for W. H. Smith and John Menzies to supply its customers, no consideration being given. Surridge Dawson then ceased wholesale trading in reference goods in London.

Also in 1963, the business of Abel Heywood & Son Ltd., a Manchester wholesaler of reference goods, was acquired with the assistance of ICFC--who now retain a 15 per cent interest in Surridge Dawson Ltd., the present wholesale news agency operating company.

Between 1966 and 1975, a further 10 wholesale news agency businesses were acquired, forming new branches of the group. In addition, 20 small wholesale news agency businesses were acquired in the same period and were absorbed into the group's existing wholesale news agency branches.

The present structure of the group dates from 1974, when Surridge Dawson & Co. Ltd. became Surridge Dawson (Holdings) Ltd., the holding and administrative company, with Surridge Dawson Ltd. as the wholesale operating company for the supply of reference goods. By 1975, the group's wholesale turnover in reference goods was estimated as £25m.

In 1976, the group had a total of 42 wholesale houses and 77 sub-depots supplying reference goods to some 3,700 outlets. The group did not trade in Scotland. On the retail side, the group had 22 retail shops selling reference goods in 1976, five of which were acquired prior to 1961, and the remainder in the years 1971-76.

The policy of the group is to continue expansion into the wholesale and retail trade within the limited resources available.

by Paul Green

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