GKN Plc descends from several antecedent companies, including Dowlais Ironworks Co., which was established in 1759. The company was a major source of cannonballs during the Napoleonic wars. Sir John Guest took charge of managing the company from 1767. The Guest family ran the company to mid-1900, after which it merged with Patent Nut and Bolt Company to form Guest, Keen & Co. Ltd. The new company would change names severally from Guest, Keen and Nettlefolds (GKN) to Guest Keen Baldwins but later reverted to Guest, Keen and Nettlefolds (GKN).

The company offers products for the aerospace and automotive industries, with a particular focus on components like screws and fasteners. Further expansion saw the company produce power train parts, motor vehicle transmission parts, powder metallurgy parts, aircraft engine parts, and auxiliary equipment parts. GKN operates via four major divisions, namely, GKN Powder Metallurgy, GKN Aerospace, GKN Driveline, and GKN Land Systems. The company shares trade on the London Stock Exchange with GKN as the ticker symbol.


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