IMI plc (LSE: IMI), formerly Imperial Metal Industries, is a British based engineering company headquartered in Birmingham. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index.
The Company was founded by Scottish entrepreneur George Kynoch who opened a percussion cap factory in Witton, Birmingham in 1862, trading as Kynoch. The business soon diversified, manufacturing goods ranging from soap and bicycle components to non-ferrous metals, but by the early 20th century it had developed particular expertise in metallurgy. After World War I it merged with Nobel Industries. In 1926 the Company acquired Eley Brothers, an ammunition business. The Company, by then known as Nobel Explosives, was one of the four businesses which merged in 1927 to create Imperial Chemical Industries. The Witton site became the head office of ICI Metals. In the 1950s the company's researchers perfected the process for producing titanium on a commercial basis.
The name Imperial Metal Industries Limited (IMI for short) was adopted on the 100th anniversary of the firm in 1962. The Company was listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1966. Initially ICI retained a majority holding, but in 1978 IMI became fully independent.
In the 1990s the Company disposed of its more basic businesses such as metal smelting and metal founding.