Describes the events of May 14, 1991, when the company is under the shadow of a Hanson threat. A historical perspective conveys the company's national, if not 'imperial', character; the importance of research and synergies across businesses in the genesis of new, chemical-based businesses; the importance of vertical integration in their competitiveness; the globalization of the world chemical industry; and the inherently cyclical nature of the industry. The case goes on to describe the changes brought to ICI by Sir John Harvey-Jones in the eighties. This is followed by a description of the restructuring under way at the time of the Hanson bid. The case concludes with some of the arguments surrounding ICI's performance, the extent of synergies in practice, the importance of R&D, as well as the political dimension of this prospective takeover.
see Hanson Plc.