• Update: 2020-07-27 17:45





The Compagnie Africaine de Navigation was incorporated on January 31, 1920 with a capital of 10 million francs represented by 20,000 shares of 500 francs. The registered office was established in Antwerp. 

The 20,000 shares were subscribed by: 

Banque d'Outremer, 8,866 shares; Compagnie du Congo pour le Commerce et l'Industrie, 5,783 shares; Société Générale de Belgique, 5,201 shares; Mr. Emile Francqui, 20 shares; Mr. Félicien Cattier, 20 shares; Mr. Henry Le Bœuf, 20 shares; Mr. Louis Goffin, 20 shares; Mr. Jules Van den Heuvel, 20 shares; Mr. Georges William Neville, 20 shares; Mr. Albert Elias, 10 shares; Mr. Léon Velghe, 10 shares; Mr. Antoine Franck, 10 shares. 
The shares were fully paid up and a capital of 10 million francs was made available to the new Company (12-(21/02/1920)-1596). 

The Belgian shareholders of the Compagnie Belge Maritime du Congo had the option of purchasing shares in the Company from March 25 and April 5, 1920, as of right, at 505 francs and in the proportion of 5 shares of the Compagnie Africaine de Navigation for 6 shares of the Compagnie Belge Maritime du Congo (21-(1920 T1)-1299).

First Board of Directors

The board of directors was 7 members: 
Messrs. Emile Francqui, Edwin Bicker Caarten, Félicien Cattier, Louis Goffin, Henry Le Boeuf, Georges William Neville, Jules Van den Heuvel (21-(1920 T1)-1299).


All business relating, in any capacity whatsoever, to navigation or maritime transport and to the chartering, purchase, sale, construction and repair of ships, agency, brokerage, stowage, storage and insurance.
To be able to carry out, in addition, any commercial, industrial or real estate operations which were directly or indirectly connected, in whole or in part, with any branch of its object or which would have been of such a nature as to promote its trade.
To be able to take an interest, by way of contribution, transfer, or participation or by any other means, in any company or enterprise whose object would have been similar or related to its own (1).



Changes in capital 

On November 12, 1926, the capital was increased from 10 million to francs 45 million by the creation of 70,000 new shares of francs 500 with dividend rights from January 1, 1927. These shares were subscribed by Banque d'Outremer (44,100 shares) and Société Générale de Belgique (25,900 shares).
10,000 new shares were offered to former shareholders on an irreducible basis only, from 10 to 24 January 1927, at a price of 525 francs, based on 1 new share for 2 old shares (21-(1927 T1)-1215).


1920 - The company acquired five cargo ships: the Mayumbe, Matadi, Mateba, Madimba and Uromi, representing approximately 22,000 tons deadweight. 

1921 - The Madimba, off Dover sailing towards Africa was boarded and sunk. The steamer Uromi was sold to the Compagnie Belge Maritime du Congo (21-(1922 T1)-1624). 

1922 - The results of the 1922 financial year were far from satisfactory, the loss on the balance sheet was 1,400,000 francs against 680,000 francs the previous year (21-(1924 T1)-1457). 

1925 - To meet the demands, the company acquired two new units, the Maniema and the Mamkiba. The company's situation improved, a profit of 99,000 francs was recorded (21-(1926 T1)-1846). 

1926 - To serve the ports on the east coast of Africa (Mombassa, Dar-el-Salam, Beira, and Port-Elisabeth), the company acquired five cargo ships, each with a deadweight capacity of 8,000 tons. The first departure took place on 13 February 1927. All the sea routes to the different parts of the Colony were thus served by lines flying the national flag. On this occasion, the shipping entered the South African Conference, which brought together all the important lines serving the southern and eastern regions of the African continent; it was the first time that a Belgian shipping company was admitted to this Conference. To acquire these steamers, financial means were provided by the increase in capital. At the end of this financial year, the Company acquired three steamers with a deadweight capacity of 5,000 tons.
The company's fleet consisted of 13 units with an overall deadweight capacity of 83,000 tons (21-(1927 T3)-120/121). 

1927 - The company purchased two cargo steamers from the Compagnie Belge Maritime du Congo and placed an order for a 5,000-tons freighter. The company took a stake in the Mercantile Marine Engineering Works Public limited company incorporated in Antwerp on December 30, 1925 under the name Mercantile Marine Engineerings Works. It changed its name to Mercantile Marine Engineering and Graving Docks Cy on September 10, 1928.(21-(1928 T3)-131). 

Dividend(s), quotation 

The company distributed a net dividend for the financial years 1926, 27 and 28 respectively 39, 50 and 50 francs.
The capital share was traded on the Brussels stock exchange; the price was 1,850 francs on December 31, 1927 and 1,735 francs on December 31, 1928 (21-(1929 T3)-202).

Dissolution and liquidation 

The EGM of June 11, 1929 decided to dissolve the Company by contribution of its active and passive situation to the Compagnie Belge Maritime du Congo, in exchange for the 45,000 fully paid up shares of 500 francs of the Compagnie Africaine de Navigation. The exchange of shares took place from November 1, 1929 based on one share of Compagnie Belge Maritime du Congo for two shares of Compagnie Africaine de Navigation. The liquidation was closed on November 7, 1929 (21-(1929 T3)-201).


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