Return to imperial trade?
John Holt & Co. (Liverpool) Ltd as a contemporary free-standing company, 1945–2006
in The empire in one city?
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This chapter seeks to bring together John Holt's corporate history after 1945, and analyse it in the light of trends and theories in international business. In the second half of the twentieth century, the company underwent a number of organisational changes, which transformed the nature of its business. The chapter explains the most recent corporate history and the logic behind adopting this organisational form. Merchant houses invested in wholesale distribution operations, more technically sophisticated goods and department stores. Holt retained its Liverpool head office, with about a dozen staff, and the UK company owns more than half the equity of the Nigerian subsidiary, which effectively conducts all operations. This is considered an unusual organisational form for multinational business in the early twenty-first century, but was indeed quite common in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

The empire in one city?

Liverpool’s inconvenient imperial past


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