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       Who We Are  >   Overview  >   1915-1936  >   1937-1983  >   1984-2004
     Who We Are – 1984-2004

GenCorp came into being on March 29, 1984, when the shareholders of The General Tire & Rubber Company approved the company’s proposal for a change of names and the establishment of GenCorp Inc. as the parent holding company overseeing its investment and particularly the operations of its four major businesses, which under the plan, would be separately incorporated subsidiary companies of GenCorp.

All the subsidiaries were established as incorporated companies in December 1984: DiversiTech General, Inc., combined the company’s industrial products, chemicals and plastics operations; RKO General was restructured with RKO General continuing to direct the broadcasting activities, while the non-broadcasting activities-RKO pictures, RKO Bottlers, RKO Hotels, and stock in Frontier Airlines – were placed with the newly formed RKO subsidiary.

The Aerojet General subsidiary continued to be GenCorp’s aerospace and defense arm with major involvement in three areas of high technology – rocket propulsion, electronics, and ordnance. And General Tire, Inc. was established as a separate subsidiary to encompass worldwide tire operations.

On March 19, 1987, a hostile takeover attempt was mounted against GenCorp by General Acquisition, Inc., an affiliate of Wagener & Brown and glass products manufacturer AFG Industries. GenCorp’s board of directors urged shareholders to reject General Acquisition’s offer. To fend off the raiders, GenCorp launched a massive restructuring program on April 6, which included the sale of General Tire. The move was part of a program designed to maximize potential growth in GenCorp’s core business, Aerojet and DiversiTech. GenCorp also continued a previous plan to sell RKO’s broadcasting assets and announced a decision to sell RKO’s bottling operations.


On April 23, Continental AG of Hannover, West Germany, expressed an interest in General Tire and began to visit company facilities. On June 29, GenCorp and Continental signed an agreement for the sale of General Tire. Continental acquired General Tire, including related domestic and foreign operations, from GenCorp. The sale was finalized October 30, 1987. According to then Continental chairman Helmut Werner, “The acquisition will provide us with a sound and strong presence in the world’s largest tire market. This step is of vital strategic importance to us and will provide Continental with worldwide operations.”

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