Ocean’s centenary year, 1965, was as portentous for the Company as the year of its birth. In one single year a new course was charted, and, whatever the future might hold, the Ocean Steam Ship Company had undergone an irrevocable transformation. Three events, each in their own way fundamental, distinguished the year. The decision to seek a public quotation on the Stock Exchange made untenable the family business organisational structure, and set in train a process of diversification which was to take the company to land and London. The acquisition of Liner Holdings, bringing with it the Elder Dempster fleet and other shipping interests was more in keeping with traditional business; yet the expansion of operations into new areas, new conferences, and also the control of another publicly quoted company meant a far more considerable diversion from historic interests than, say, the acquisition of China Mutual or Glen. And the decision to form Overseas Containers Ltd, OCL, was the most far-reaching of all, spelling, as it did, the end of conventional liner operations for Alfred Holt and Company.
KeywordsDepression Europe Steam Shipping Titan
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