Notes
1
Unfortunately, there are no data that could quantify this statement. Yet, there seems to be no question about it as virtually every publication on the international non-ferrous metal business alludes to the dominance of Metallgesellschaft, Aron Hirsch & Sohn and Beer, Sondheimer & Co.
2
Other German metal traders of less importance were: M. Lissauer & Co., Cologne; N. Levy & Co., Berlin; Altheim, Speier & Co., Frankfurt/Main. Unfortunately, there is only very limited information on the German non-ferrous metal trade apart from Metallgesellschaft, Aron Hirsch & Sohn and Beer, Sondheimer & Co.
3
Ralph Merton was the father of Wilhelm Merton and owner of the firm of Ph.A. Cohen. The father of Leo Ellinger, Phillip Ellinger, had been a partner in the firm of Cohen. He was succeeded by his son after his death in 1875.
4
German company law distinguishes between easily transferable bearer shares (Inhaberaktien) and personal shares (Namensaktien).
5
Robert Liefmann criticised what was known as stock and bond capitalism. Taking Metallgesellschaft as a prime example he endeavoured to show that by means of majority shareholdings German companies were able to control foreign firms which were legally still independent. According to Liefmann this was the basis of the German companies’ international success. In his response Wilhelm Merton tried to demonstrate that Metallgesellschaft’s policy was motivated by its desire to create truly independent business organisations.
6
The occasion referred to above was the British and Australian public discussion about Metallgesellschaft’s position in the international non-ferrous metal market at the outbreak of the First World War.
7
In 1860 a brother of Wilhelm Merton had founded Henry R. Merton & Co. in London of which Metallgesellschaft possessed the majority of shares only after 1912-13 (MGA/3:9). Yet, the London company which in turn had a considerable interest in Metallgesellschaft never appeared to have been controlled by the latter so that it is not considered one of its foreign direct investments.
8
For a discussion of transaction cost theory see Hennart (1991).
9
Other contributions claim that Australian smelting and refining works, mines in Central and South America, works in France, Belgium, the United Kingdom and Siberia were included in the company’s activities (Zielenziger 1930:203; Auerbach 1965:190). Yet, there is no distinction between portfolio and direct investment which would make it possible to decide in which of these cases Aron Hirsch & Sohn embarked on full-scale backward integration. Other sources are not precise either.
10
Hoboken was a 50 per cent joint venture with Degussa (Deutsche Gold und Silber Scheideanstalt).
11
Unfortunately, it cannot be said whether Metallgesellschaft’s business was already affected by this tendency or whether it was anticipated by Wilhelm Merton. This would be informative in order to assess whether Metallgesellschaft’s decision to integrate backwards was of a defensive or an offensive kind.
12
For example, the same applies to: Duisburger Kupferhütte (Germany), Norddeutsche Affinerie, Hamburg (Germany), Süddeutsche Metallindustrie GmbH, Nürnberg (Germany), S.A.G. Dumont & Frères, Liège (Belgium).
13
Just one example shall be mentioned briefly. In 1901 Metallgesellschaft struck an agreement with Société des Mines de Balia-Karaidin, Constantinople about the sale of its annual output of lead bullion. This contract was prolonged several times, finally until December 1913 (MGA/10).
14
In 1889, Metallgesellschaft had founded the Compañia de Minerales y Metales whose purpose was to negotiate ore contracts with Mexican mines. In this

-82-

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