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The LTV Corporation
Formerly called
Traded as LTV / LTVCQ (former)
Industry Conglomerate
Founded 1947
Founder James Ling
Defunct December 29, 2000 (2000-12-29)
(Final Bankruptcy Date)
Headquarters Cleveland, Ohio (HQ 1993 to dissolution)
Dallas, Texas (Founded)
, United States of America
Area served
Website (2000 Archive, now defunct)

Ling-Temco-Vought (LTV) was a large U.S. conglomerate which existed from 1961 to 2000. At its peak, its component parts were involved in the aerospace industry, electronics, steel manufacturing, sporting goods, the airline industry, meat packing, car rentals and pharmaceuticals, among other businesses. It began in 1947 as Ling Electric Company, later named Ling-Temco-Vought, followed by LTV Corporation and eventually LTV Steel to its end in the early 2000s.


  • History 1
    • Founded Ling Electric Company 1.1
    • Ling Temco Vought formed 1.2
    • Buys Braniff International and National Car Rental 1.3
    • LTV problems mount 1.4
    • Divestiture of Braniff International and other subsidiaries 1.5
    • LTV files for bankruptcy protection 1.6
  • Aircraft 2
  • Missiles 3
  • Unmanned aerial vehicles 4
  • References 5
    • Notes 5.1
    • Sources 5.2
  • Further reading 6
  • External links 7


Founded Ling Electric Company

In 1947, entrepreneur James Ling founded his own Dallas electrical contracting business, Ling Electric Company, where he lived in the rear of the shop. After incorporating and taking his company public in 1955, Ling found innovative ways to market his stock, including selling door-to-door and from a booth at the State Fair of Texas.[1]

Ling Temco Vought formed

In 1956 Ling bought L.M. Electronics, and in 1959 added Altec Electronics, a maker of stereo systems and speakers. In 1960 Ling merged his company with Temco Aircraft, best known for its missile work. In 1961 using additional funding from insurance businessman Troy Post and Texas oil baron David Harold Byrd they acquired the Chance Vought aerospace firm in a hostile takeover.[1] The new company became Ling-Temco-Vought.

With low interest rates allowing the company to borrow huge sums, Ling proceeded to build up one of the major 1960s conglomerates. As long as the target company's earnings exceeded the interest on the loan (or corporate bond), or the company's price/earnings ratio was less than that of LTV's stock, the conglomerate became more profitable overall. Given the fairly unsophisticated stock research of the era, the company appeared to be growing without bound, and its share prices rose. In 1964 Ling turned Ling-Temco-Vought into a holding company and established three public companies as subsidiaries, LTV Aerospace, LTV Ling Altec, and LTV Electrosystems. LTV Aerospace received assets for Vought and a large part of Temco Aircraft. LTV Ling Altec contained Altec Electronics and other properties and the rest went to LTV Electrosystems. The intention was make the sum of the parts worth more than the whole. Ling used this technique to raise capital and buy more companies.[1] Portions of LTV Electrosystems would later spin off to E-Systems, then part of Raytheon IIS, and since 2002 part of L-3 Communications-Integrated Systems (L-3/IS).

In 1965, Ling added the wire and cable company Okonite. In 1967, they took over Wilson and Company, a company twice the size of Ling Temco Vought. Wilson was a diverse company involved in meat packing and making sporting goods and pharmaceuticals from livestock byproducts.[2] Wilson's president Roscoe Haynie was not aware of the takeover scheme until just two weeks before the takeover was complete.[3] Ling later split Wilson into three parts, meat packing, sporting goods and pharmaceuticals, and spun them off into separate companies traded on the American Stock Exchange.

Buys Braniff International and National Car Rental

In 1968, LTV added Greatamerica Corporation, Troy Post's holding company for Braniff International Airways and National Car Rental,[2] and J & L Steel. In addition he acquired a series of resorts in Acapulco, Guerrero, Mexico, and Steamboat Springs, Colorado. By 1969 LTV had purchased 33 companies, employed 29,000 workers, and offered 15,000 separate products and services, and was one of the forty biggest industrial corporations.

LTV problems mount

Ling-Temco-Vought had a combined sales of $3.6 billion in 1969 ($23.2 billion today),[3] but investors found that the conglomerates were not growing any faster than the individual companies had before they were bought out. Share prices plummeted, sparking a bear market, and there was a general feeling that the conglomerates were to blame for the market woes. An anti-trust lawsuit was filed that year, and eventually the board of directors demoted Ling in 1970, and he left the company, to be replaced by former LTV executive, Paul Thayer.

Divestiture of Braniff International and other subsidiaries

As part of a 1971 antitrust settlement, LTV sold its Braniff and Okonite components,[2] and Thayer changed the company name from Ling-Temco-Vought to LTV Corporation. Thayer was succeeded by former Xerox executive Raymond Hay.

In July 1986, LTV Corporation filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. With $6.14 billion ($13.2 billion today) in total assets and $4.59 billion in debt, it was the largest bankruptcy in US history to that point.[4]

The company then went into a series of divestitures, most notably the entire LTV Aerospace division; the aerospace component retained the legacy Vought name as the independent Vought Corporation while the missile component later became part of Loral Corporation[5] and later became the Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control division. After the 1984 merger of the Jones and Laughlin Steel Company subsidiary with Republic Steel Corporation, the company continued to exist primarily as a steel producer, renaming itself LTV Steel, and moving its headquarters to Cleveland, Ohio in 1993.

LTV did not leave Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection until June 28, 1993 in what was described in 1999 as one of the longest and most complicated bankruptcies in US history.[3]

In 1999, LTV acquired Pittsburgh-based Copperweld Corporation from Imétal S.A. of France.[6]

LTV files for bankruptcy protection

LTV Steel filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on December 29, 2000.[7] The assets were acquired in February 2002 by Wilbur Ross and merged with Weirton Steel to form the International Steel Group.[2][8]

Some of the railroad subsidiaries – Chicago Short Line Railway, Cuyahoga Valley Railway, and River Terminal Railway – went to ISG, while the Ohio Central Railroad System acquired Aliquippa and Southern Railroad and Mahoning Valley Railway. The former Monongahela Connecting Railroad is now operated by the Allegheny Valley Railroad.

In 2002, Lombard Metals Corp located in Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania, purchased all the outside inventory totaling 224,000,000 lbs of steel from 58 locations throughout the country.


A-7 Corsair II aircraft made by Ling-Temco-Vought. This example, a former US Navy aircraft, was photographed at a British airshow in 2005 It was retired from service by 2014 from the Hellenic Air Force (Greece).


Unmanned aerial vehicles



  1. ^ a b c Sobel, Robert (1999). The Rise and Fall of the Conglomerate Kings. Beard Books.  
  2. ^ a b c d Gaughan, Patrick A. (2010). Mergers, Acquisitions, and Corporate Restructurings (5 ed.). John Wiley & Sons. pp. 56–57.  
  3. ^ a b c "The LTV Corporation History". Funding Universe. 1999. Retrieved 2014-10-04. 
  4. ^ Hayes, Thomas C. (1986-07-18). "LTV Corp. Files for Bankruptcy; Debt is $4 Billion". New York Times. 
  5. ^ Takahashi, Dean (1992-09-01). "Loral Acquires Missile Branch of LTV Corp.". Los Angeles Times. 
  6. ^ LTV Corporation (1999-09-09). "LTV to Purchase Copperweld Corporation". PR News Wire. 
  7. ^ "LTV Steel". LTV. Archived from the original on 2008-05-09. Retrieved 2008-05-26. 
  8. ^ "LTV Steel assets sold". CNN Money. 2002-02-27. 


  • Sobel, Robert (2000). The Money Manias: The Eras of Great Speculation in America, 1770–1970. Beard Books.  

Further reading

  • Brown, Stanley H. (1972). Ling: The Rise and Fall of a Texas Titan. New York. , for more detail about the founder and company during the conglomerate era.

External links

  • LTV Steel - Western Reserve Historical Society
  • The LTV Corporation - Harvard - The Lehman Brothers Collection
  • LTV Corporation - Texas State Historical Association
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