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Johnson Matthey

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Johnson Matthey (LSEJMAT) is a British multinational speciality chemicals and sustainable technologies company headquartered in the United Kingdom. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index.


Early years

Johnson Matthey traces its origins to 1817, when Percival Norton Johnson set up business as a gold assayer in London.[3] In 1851 George Matthey joined the business and its name was changed to Johnson & Matthey.[3] The following year the firm was appointed official assayer and refiner to the Bank of England.[3] The company had branches in the cities of Birmingham and Sheffield to supply the jewellery and silverware and cutlery trade with raw materials and ancillary supplies, such as silver solder and flux, which it manufactured.[4]

In 1874, the company was commissioned to manufacture the kilogram reference standard, made from 90% platinum and 10% iridium, and held in the Bureau International des Poids et Mesures (International Bureau of Weights and Measures).[5]

20th century

Beginning in 1957, the company published a journal, Platinum Metals Review.[6]

In the 1960s Johnson Matthey formed a subsidiary, Johnson Matthey Bankers (JMB), which took its seat in the London Gold Fixing. In the early 1980s the bank expanded its activities outside the bullion business and started making high-risk loans. Bank assets more than doubled between 1980 and 1984, and loans became concentrated to a few borrowers, including Mahmoud Sipra and his El Saeed group, Rajendra Sethia and ESAL Commodities, and Abdul Shamji.[7] The quality of some of these loans turned out to be worse than expected, such as the £21 million lent to Abdul Shamji of Gomba Holdings[8] (the then owner of Puddle Dock and the Mermaid Theatre in London). The size of the loans grew to exceed the level of the bank's capital. (Shamji was sentenced to 15 months in prison for lying about his assets during a High Court inquiry into the bank's collapse.)[9]

Because JMB was one of five members of the London Gold Fixing, Bank of England officials were worried that if it became insolvent confidence in the other bullion banks would be undermined, and panic could spread to the rest of the British banking system. To prevent a wider banking crisis the Bank of England organized a rescue package on the evening of 30 September 1984, purchasing JMB for £1.[10] Most of JMB's business was subsequently sold to Mase Westpac.[11]

21st century

In 2008 Johnson Matthey acquired Argillon, a business specialising in catalysts, for €214 million.[12]

In October 2010 Johnson Matthey acquired InterCAT, a supplier of fluid catalytic cracking additives for the petroleum refining industry, for $56.2 million.[13] Also in 2010 Johnson Matthey opened a new £34 million European emission control catalyst plant in Skopje, (North Macedonia), which leveraged its manufacturing technology to produce catalysts for both light- and heavy-duty vehicles.[14]

The company was one of the first FTSE 100 companies to produce an integrated annual report and won the Best Annual Report in the FTSE 100 in the ICSA Hermes Transparency in Governance Awards in 2012, which recognised how sustainability issues were ‘described in a way that clearly links them to business strategy and performance, rather than leaving them in a silo or on the sidelines.’[15]

In 2014, the company was shortlisted for Business in the Community's Responsible Business of the Year Award for its Sustainability 2017 programme.[16]

In 2015, Johnson Matthey sold its gold and silver refining operations to Asahi Holdings, Inc., a Japanese firm.[17]

In September 2020, Johnson Matthey teamed up with Bazan and EDF Renewables Israel and opened an Environmental Sustainability Innovation Lab (ESIL) to foster environmental conservation and sustainability.[18]


Johnson Matthey is organised into four main sectors:[19] Clean Air, Efficient Natural Resources, Health, and New Markets.

Factories in Poland

In August 2018, Johnson Matthey started the construction of a new factory in Gliwice. The plant covers an area of approximately 23,000 m2 and is costing about PLN 450 million. The project will create about 400 new jobs. The plant consists of two production lines which will manufacture a full range of advanced catalysts.[20]

Environmental performance

In December 2008 US subsidiary Johnson Matthey Inc was fined $2.25 million for a felony violation of the United States Clean Water Act, after admitting to violating the act at its Salt Lake City precious metals refining facility.[21] The violation related to the selective screening of wastewater samples for compliance analysis. Following the charge Johnson Matthey Inc contributed $750,000 to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and entered a three-year compliance agreement with the US Environmental Protection Agency.[22]


  1. ^ a b c "Preliminary Results 2019" (PDF). Johnson Matthey Plc. Retrieved 28 February 2020.
  2. ^ "Case Study: Johnson Matthey". Chartered Institute of Internal Auditors. Retrieved 3 March 2019.
  3. ^ a b c "Spark-plug maker Johnson Matthey is a breath of fresh air for all of us". The Telegraph. 25 March 2012. Retrieved 3 March 2019.
  4. ^ La-Niece, Susan (1993). Metal Plating and Patination: Cultural, technical and historical developments. Butterworth-Heinemann. p. 222. ISBN 978-0750616119.
  5. ^ SMith, F.J. (1973). "A story of precision Fabrication". Platinum Metals Review. 17 (2): 66–68.
  6. ^ "Review: A Noble Rival to Gold". in Reed Business Information (17 February 1983). New Scientist. Reed Business Information. pp. 450–. ISSN 0262-4079.
  7. ^ Portrait of an Old Lady: Turmoil at the Bank of England By: Stephen Fey ISBN 0-670-81934-4
  8. ^ "The Truth about Lloyds". The Truth about Lloyds. Retrieved 18 April 2011.
  9. ^ Captain Moonlight: Offstage drama at the Mermaid The Independent, 12 December 1993
  10. ^ When was the last nationalisation? BBC News, February 2008
  11. ^ "Rescued bank sold by Britain". The New York Times. 11 April 1986. Retrieved 17 March 2015.
  12. ^ "Johnson Matthey to buy Argillon for €214 million". Reuters. 18 April 2011. Retrieved 30 January 2012.
  13. ^ "Johnson Matthey PLC To Acquire Intercat, Inc". Reuters. Retrieved 30 January 2012.
  14. ^ "Johnson Matthey Opens Major New European Emission Control Catalyst Plant in Macedonia". Business Wire. 30 January 2012. Retrieved 30 January 2012.
  15. ^ Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (2012). Awards Report 2012 – Delivering transparency, changing behaviour (PDF) (Report). Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators. p. 5. Retrieved 15 November 2014.
  16. ^ "Johnson Matthey - Sustainability 2017". Business in the Community. Retrieved 16 November 2014.
  17. ^ "Johnson Matthey sells its gold and silver refining business". The Daily Telegraph. 15 December 2014. Retrieved 3 March 2019.
  18. ^ Bailey, Mary Page (8 September 2020). "Johnson Matthey and Partners launch Sustainability Laboratory in Israel". Chemical Engineering. Retrieved 21 September 2020.
  19. ^ "Johnson Matthey Sector Structure". Johnson Matthey. Retrieved 12 April 2019.
  20. ^ "Johnson Matthey zbuduje w Gliwicach fabrykę katalizatorów. Praca dla 350 osób". Retrieved 10 March 2020.
  21. ^ "Utah gold and silver refinery sentenced for Clean Water Act violation". Retrieved 18 April 2011.
  22. ^ "Utah Refinery To Pay $3M In Criminal Pollution Case". Law 360. 4 September 2008. Retrieved 3 March 2019.

External links

This page was last edited on 21 September 2020, at 08:38
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