The later 1980's and early 1990's were a turbulent time for Furse. In 1987, the organisation changed hands twice, as first Coloroll Plc and then Thomas Robinson Group took control. Coloroll had taken over the whole of the Crown House Group in order to obtain its tableware interests. The engineering companies within the group were quickly sold on, with Furse finding a buyer in the rapidly growing Thomas Robinson Group, based in Derby.
Robinson's saw the need to create three separate companies from the three divisions of W J Furse and from January 1988, Lift Division became Furse Lifts Ltd, Steeplejack Division became Furse Specialist Contracting Ltd, and Engineering Division retained the original company name of W J Furse & Co Ltd. Theatre Products was sold off to CCT in the following year, but Thomas Robinson commenced a £2m programme of investment in the rest of the Furse organisation including a new computer system, production equipment and building improvements. Furse Lifts Ltd was acquired by Thyssen Lifts and Escalators, the UK arm of a German based company.
At the beginning of the 1990's the UK slipped into recession, and the fortunes of the Thomas Robinson Group changed for the worse.
In June 1991 W J Furse & Co Ltd and Furse Specialist Contracting Ltd were acquired by East Midlands Electricity Plc, a UK regional electricity company.
EME afforded W J Furse their full support and encouraged the company's ambitious investment program in new and improved manufacturing facilities.
In 1998 Furse have been a part of the Thomas & Betts corporation. Thomas & Betts, based in Memphis, USA, are a world leader in the supply of electrical components.
In 2012 Thomas & Betts was acquired by ABB. ABB is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve performance while lowering environmental impact.furse, history, abb, logo The ABB Group of companies operates in around 100 countries and employs about 145,000 people.
Over 120 years after the firms’ inception, the Furse name continues to be synonymous with innovative engineering and management success, and stands as a tribute to its founder.