Oxoid Limited

The Oxoid name was first used in 1924 to brand glandular extracts and other products sold to hospitals and laboratories. By the 1950s modern pharmaceuticals had replaced the earlier glandular extracts in the treatment of patients and the Oxoid brand became synonymous with dehydrated culture media. In 1965 this had grown to the point where, rather than being just the Medical Division of Oxo, Oxoid Limited was set up as a separate company in the Liebig group. During 1968 Liebig merged with Brooke Bond and in 1975 Oxoid left the Oxo cube factory in Southwark, London where the company had been founded and moved to new purpose-built facilities in Basingstoke. Also at this time a number of subsidiaries were set up in Europe, Canada and Australia. In 1984 the Brooke Bond group was acquired by Unilever and Oxoid became part of their Medical Products group, later merging with Unipath a diagnostics company then developing pregnancy tests and other similar products for the consumer market. Both parts of the new company continued to grow, adding more subsidiaries and developing immunological products for the microbiology market. By 1996 Unilever had decided to concentrate on consumer products resulting in the separating of the Unipath and Oxoid businesses. Oxoid, following a management buy-out, became an independent company at the beginning of 1997. Unilever's other Speciality Chemical companies were sold to ICI. In July 2000 PPMVentures, a subsidiary of Prudential Plc, became the major shareholder in Oxoid. In February 2004, Fisher Scientific International acquired Oxoid and, following Fisher's acquisition of Apogent later that year, brought Oxoid together with Remel Inc. to form a specialist Microbiology division. Fisher Scientific International merged with Thermo Electron Corporation on 9th November 2006 to form Thermo Fisher Scientific.